Home > Wicked (Pretty Little Liars #5)(7)

Wicked (Pretty Little Liars #5)(7)
Author: Sara Shepard

“Are you girls excited to start school again tomorrow?” Isabel wound pasta around her fork.

Hanna shrugged one shoulder and felt a familiar pain radiate down her right arm. She’d broken it when Mona slammed into her with her SUV, yet another lovely reminder that her friendship with Mona had been a sham.

“I’m excited,” Kate filled the silence. “I looked through the Rosewood Day catalogue again today. The school has really amazing activities. They put on four plays a year!”

Mr. Marin and Isabel beamed. Hanna ground her molars together so furiously, her jaw started to go numb. All Kate had talked about since arriving in Rosewood was how thrilled she was to be going to Rosewood Day. But whatever—the school was huge. Hanna planned on never seeing her.

“The place seems so confusing, though.” Kate daintily wiped her mouth with a napkin. “They have separate buildings for different subjects, like a journalism barn and a science library and a greenhouse. I’m going to get so lost.” She twirled a piece of chestnut hair around her index finger. “I would love it if you showed me around, Hanna.”

Hanna almost burst out laughing. Kate’s voice was faker than a ninety-nine-cent pair of Chanel sunglasses on eBay. She’d pulled this let’s be friends act at Le Bec-Fin, too, and Hanna would never forget how that had turned out. When Hanna fled into the restaurant’s bathroom during the appetizers, Kate followed behind, acting all sweet and concerned. Hanna broke down and explained to Kate that she’d just received a note—from A…er, Mona—that Sean Ackard, whom she’d thought she was still dating, was at the Foxy benefit with another girl. Kate immediately sympathized and urged Hanna to ditch their dinner, go back to Rosewood, and kick Sean’s ass. She even said she’d cover for her. That’s what almost-stepsisters were for, right?

Wrong. When Hanna returned to Philadelphia, surprise! Kate had tattled instead and told Mr. Marin that Hanna was carrying around a bunch of Percocet in her purse. Mr. Marin had been so angry, he’d cut the trip short…and hadn’t spoken to Hanna for weeks.

“Of course Hanna will show you around,” Mr. Marin piped up.

Hanna clenched her fists under the table and tried for a dismayed tone. “Oh, wow, I’d love to, but my school day is so jam-packed!”

Her father cocked an eyebrow. “What about before school or at lunch?”

Hanna sucked her teeth. Way to sell me out, Dad. Had her father forgotten that Kate had stabbed Hanna in the back at their disastrous dinner at Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia this fall—the dinner that was supposed to be for Hanna and her dad only? But then, her dad hadn’t seen it that way. In his mind, Kate wasn’t a backstabber. She was perfect. Hanna looked back and forth from her father to Isabel to Kate, feeling more and more helpless. All at once, she felt a familiar tickle rising in the back of her throat. Pushing back her chair, she stood up, let out a grunt, and stumbled to the downstairs bathroom.

She hung over the sink and dry-heaved. Don’t do this, she told herself. She’d been so good about the purging thing the past few months, but it was like Kate was a trigger. The very first time Hanna had puked on command was the one and only time Hanna had visited her father, Isabel, and Kate in Annapolis. She’d brought Ali along, and Ali and Kate had gotten along instantly—that pretty-girl bond or something—while Hanna shoveled handful after handful of popcorn into her mouth, feeling fat and hideous. Her dad calling her a little piggy had been the last straw. She’d run into the bathroom, snatched Kate’s toothbrush from a cup by the sink, and forced herself to vomit.

Ali had walked in as Hanna was in the middle of her second heave. She’d promised Hanna her secret was safe with her, but Hanna had learned a lot about Ali between then and now. Ali kept a lot of secrets from a lot of people—and had played people against each other. Like how she’d told Hanna and the others that they’d caused The Jenna Thing when really, Jenna and Ali had orchestrated it all along. Hanna wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that Ali had marched back out to the patio that day and told Kate everything.

After a few minutes the sick feeling passed. Hanna took a deep breath, stood back up, and reached into her pocket for her BlackBerry. She opened up a new text message. You won’t believe this, she typed. My dad wants me to be the Rosewood Day Welcome Wagon for Psycho Kate. Can we do emergency mani-pedis tomorrow a.m. to discuss?

She was halfway through scrolling down her Contacts list when she realized she had no one to send the text to. Mona had been the only person she’d gotten mani-pedis with.

“Hanna?”

Hanna whirled around. Her father had cracked the bathroom door open a couple inches. His eyebrows were crinkled in concern. “Are you okay?” he asked, using a gentle tone of voice Hanna hadn’t heard in so long.

Mr. Marin stepped closer and put his hand on Hanna’s shoulder. Hanna swallowed hard, ducking her head. Back when she was in seventh grade, before her parents divorced, she and her dad had been really close. It had broken her heart when he’d left Rosewood after the divorce, and when he’d moved in with Isabel and Kate, Hanna had worried that he’d traded ugly, chubby, poop-brown-haired Hanna for pretty, skinny, perfect Kate. A few months ago, when Hanna was in the hospital after Mona hit her with her SUV, her dad had promised to be a bigger part of Hanna’s life. But in the week her dad had been here, he’d been too busy helping redecorate the house according to Isabel’s tastes—lots of velvet and tassels—to make much time for her.

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