Friday, April 13

I guess that I started to realize things were different around a year after Alison disappeared.

A couple days before our junior year started, I was taking my morning jog (back when I actually gave a damn about my appearance). The old DiLaurentis house was on my route. That day, there was something different – movers were outside the house. They were dumping piles of Alison's things into the street.

Naturally, I was curious – I was obsessed with Ali on a level that fell into the category of unhealthy, and, ultimately, that's what killed her. So I decided to investigate.

Most of it was pure junk – jewelry, books, photos, and so on. At least, it would have been junk to any normal person who saw it. A's keen nature never left me, though, and I saw the usefulness of these things. I was just smarter than anyone else in that respect.

So I scooped most of it up in my oversized Kate Spade bag, only leaving the true garbage – childhood toys and the like. After I got back to my house and said a rushed 'good morning' to my parents, I started to pore through all of the bitch's stuff.

Looking through all of it just brought my contempt for Alison to the surface. In every photo of her and her pretty little friends, she was always in the center, smiling coolly like she knew that she had the world under her spell. And why shouldn't she have? But it just infuriated me further.

But then I stumbled across something incredible, something juicy – her diary. Yes, the feared Alison DiLaurentis kept a journal, a record of everything that happened in her life – and those of her friends. I opened it to the center and the first words my eyes skimmed were this:

"Aria's dad is cheating on her mom. I love it! I mean, it sucks for Aria, but I'm a sucker for drama. There's no way Aria tells her mom though. Mr. Montgomery will talk her out of it. I just know it! She doesn't have the courage to stand up to him, that's why I picked her. I know Mr. Montgomery definitely saw me there. Note to self: I've got to use this. He owes me that much, at least. But what can I get to convince him? He's cute but... old. And what about Ella?"

I started laughing out loud. Quiet, kooky, Aria Montgomery, the one who fled to Iceland as soon as her best friend disappeared, had a dark secret? Eagerly, I flipped to the first pages and read every single word, and then again, and again. I read as her clandestine relationship with Ian started, as Jenna Marshall moved to town and into Ali's queen-bee turf, as she and Spencer got into fight after fight, as Emily kissed her in the school library, as she convinced Hanna to start purging, as Spencer kissed Ian, and, of course, as Aria's dad cheated on her mom. Of course, this was all interspersed with useless little details, like when she wrote:

"I spent the day shopping and I bought the most adorable new dress! They had several pairs of shoes that I could have bought but I found the perfect pair at the last store I went into. Everyone at school is going to be so jealous of me - If they are not already. Just wait until I spend the day next week shopping with my mom - I will be getting in all the newest trends from all the best stores. It is going to be so much fun rubbing it in everyone's faces!"

Like who the hell would care about that? But whatever. I had all of their secrets, and I wasn't letting go.

Saturday, April 14

A "special" doctor, who flew in from Florida, came to talk to a "select few" of us about how hanging on to our old problems is seriously unhealthy. Like I care! I can tell that they're targeting me with those speeches, but I just sat there and acted like I cared.

The face I'm putting up to the world is simple: like I don't care. I never give any expressions or acknowledgement of other people. I want them to think that I've sunk to my ultimate low, that I might actually start to repent my sins. And then I'll start to layer on emotion, get out of this place once and for all, and help her again. Sure, she has the rest of the A-team, but none of them are as loyal to her as I ever was.

My old life seems like a weird, convoluted memory. My parents visit me every now and then, but those visits are sporadic and unpleasant. I can tell that they despise me, that they think I've disgraced the family.

Hanna hasn't come here at all. Not that I really care – she was never my friend, and to see her again would just bring up my personality that was usually only reserved for A. I can tell that it won't be long until she comes crawling to me, though. She's going to come looking for answers. Not that I have any, though. At least not that I can reveal without committing veritable suicide. If I dared tell Hanna any of our secrets, then the last image I would see would be that red coat while my life slowly left my body.

As for her, my commander, she's only come here once – the night that I was sent here. She demanded to know everything about how the events of the night of the masquerade ball went, but all I could dare tell her was that I had done everything she told me to. What else could I say? I didn't want her to be disappointed in me.

Tuesday, April 17

I guess that I should get back to the whole "recounting my experiences" thing now. Anyway, Labor Day was the weekend after I found Alison's diary. I was walking taller and prouder than ever before – now, instead of knowing one measly secret of the queen bee, I knew all of the secrets of her worker bees.

Hanna and I went shopping at the King James Mall (or, you know, not really shopping, but whatever. Pretty girls are above the law). Just as she and I were about to stroll out together after pulling off another master heist, she just walked out! I followed her out of the store and trailed her carefully with my eyes, a new scarf wrapped jauntily around my neck.

She was going to talk to Spencer. Spencer Hastings. That dorky loser who was devastated if she didn't win some accolade or another on a regular basis. Of course, now I knew a lot more about that dorky loser – she was the only one of the group who actually had the bravery to stand up to Alison, and for that, I admired her. She would almost make a good ally, should I ever need one again, if I could just convince her to see things my way.

Anyway, after Hanna and I parted ways, I was driving into the commercial part of the city to pick up some dry-cleaning for my parents – like I wanted to get their crap for them!

So I was driving past a college bar, and I glimpsed a couple talking intimately in the window. Shocked, I realized that the girl in the bar was that freak who had left for Iceland – Aria Montgomery! So I parked the car and walked past the bar ever-so-inconspicuously. Suddenly, the quiet, formerly pink-haired freak seemed a lot more interesting.

The guy she was talking to was undoubtedly cute, but he was definitely older – like, I don't know, early-to-mid twenties? Just after I glanced in, the two of them disappeared into the back, towards the bathrooms.

You know it gets hot when they go to the bathroom together.

Wednesday, April 19

Hanna called me today.

I don't know why I care so much.

But it feels like it makes a difference.

Sunday, April 23

That was a stupid entry. I sound like it actually matters. But why would it matter? That bitch made me miserable, and vice-versa. It was just kind of nice to hear from her.

Thing is, I'm not actually allowed to take personal phone calls unless they're from immediate family, so she just left a message. The message was, "I need to talk to you." Um, hello! Didn't she learn that I couldn't talk? Thanks to her and her friends, I can't even have a cell phone. And, just for the record, life is miserable without a cell phone.

I guess that when I transformed into A, I didn't really know what the implications would be.

Monday, April 24

She came to visit me today. No, not Hanna. The girl in the red coat. The girl who basically controls where my life stands.

She told me that she was disappointed in me. She told me that I could have tried harder, that I could have shot Spencer right then and there to spook them. That I shouldn't have let my lair be so conspicuous.

God, do I miss that lair. It was the place where I could actually be myself, without hiding anything. I didn't have to be anyone but myself.

Anyway, she was standing there in her bright coat (does she NEVER take that thing off?), and I realized, for the first time, that she's a real threat. Not the kind of threat that I was – yeah, I killed Ian Thomas, but so what? It was a little shrug. And I sent some torturous text messages, but, at the end of the day, they weren't emotionally damaging. But she's able to do so, so much more than I ever was. I think that I might actually fear her.

And it convinced me that I need to be a part of this more than ever. Those bitches ruined my life, and I want payback.

Tuesday, April 25

So she told me her new plan, and it's genius. It'll bring them to their knees, begging, pleading for mercy. And better yet? We have new arrivals to the A-team. More people to help means a bigger, more elaborate scheme that'll stretch to proportions that those pretty little liars can't imagine.

She also brought her laptop to show me. In addition to cell phones, we aren't able to have any electronics that might link us to the outside world here, because they think that might "stilt the healing process." Like anyone cares. The other girls here are such babies – they all comply to whatever the doctors want them to do. I, on the other hand, protest everything they say.

Everyone hates me here. They think that I'm some antisocial freak who doesn't know what's good for her. Don't they know that I have plenty of friends?

Well, not friends, exactly, but allies. We have, like, at least seven people on the A-team now, I swear. None of them are as valuable as me, of course, but they can pretend that they are for their own self-esteem.

Thursday, April 27

I keep hearing the doctors whispering about me. They say that I'm uncurable. What if I don't want to be cured? Dr. Sullivan assured me that I would heal with time when I first went to her, but that was when I was scared. That was before our leader convinced me that it would all work out alright.

Dr. Sullivan was such an overconfident little bitch. She thought that she knew everything, that she could actually help me.

The only people who could possibly help me know that I don't want to be helped.

Okay, so I got off on a tangent the other day when I started talking about the laptop. She had a video pulled up – one of Emily. Aria, Spencer, and Hanna being interviewed on GMA. They're being seen as such heroes now, like they survived sooo much trauma.

I've been through way worse than any of them have.

Saturday, April 30

I haven't talked about the whole "History of A" thing or whatever for a while, and the doctors are really pushing journaling as a healthy way to vent, so here goes.

After I saw Aria and then made the connection between her and our new English teacher, the hot, young, and seemingly very single Mr. Fitz, I sent her an innocent little text:

"Maybe he fools around with his students all of the time. A lot of teachers do. Just ask your dad.

-A"

I never planned on becoming A again, at least not after Alison went missing. But, oh my God, it felt so good! Seeing the scared look on her face when she looked from her cell phone, up at Fitz, and back down at it was the world to me. Once again, I was full of power, and it was incredible!

I felt kind of guilty, though – Aria had never actually done anything to me. Alison had, and that's why I was torturing her. But innocent, tiny little Aria? I didn't see a reason to continue with her.

However, my urges became omnipresent. Assuming the role of the faceless, mysterious person in the black hoodie named "A" gave me a high like no one could ever understand. Hanna and I tried smoking weed together one summer, and we managed to get high off of that, but it wasn't anything compared to becoming this new persona.

I texted Hanna when she got arrested. I left Emily a note in her locker after I sensed that she was getting more than a little close to the new girl, Maya (if only Maya hadn't gotten involved with Em – it ended up badly for her! But more on that later), and I emailed Spencer when I peeked inside her window and saw her and Melissa's new fiancée getting hot-and-heavy.

I figured that it would be kind of a casual thing. If I saw one of them being naughty, I'd tease them about it. Simple, right?

But then things started to change. The body, the one everyone was saying was Ali's, was found. Those four, her old besties, rebounded. Hanna avoided my phone calls and made excuses to avoid hanging out with me. It killed something in me – my compassion. Hanna and I had made a pact before sophomore year started that we'd be best friends forever and always, that no one could ever come in the way. Of course, at the time, we were pretty much talking about Naomi Ziegler and Riley Wolfe, but she should have known better than to get chummy with her old friends again. After that day, the da of Alison's funeral, I was done being Mrs. Nice A. I was playing a game of life-and-death.

I can't believe that I've been in this place for a month. How long am I going to be subjected to it? I hate it! I hate the other patients, I hate the doctors, I hate the tiny rooms, I hate the stupid white walls! Can't they just paint?

I hate my life.

The students of Rosewood High are having their junior prom tonight. I should have been junior prom queen.

Instead, nobody's going to be thinking about psycho Mona Vanderwaal at one of the most fun nights of their high school experience.

Sunday, May 1

Hanna came to visit me today, finally living up to that promise of wanting to talk to me that she gave me over the phone way back. I think that her visit was mostly to gloat, but I didn't give that bitch the satisfaction. I just put on the silent, brooding face that I have for everyone else who's tried to talk to me.

Hanna was elected prom queen. I wanted to slap her right across the face and tell her just what I thought of her, but I waited patiently as she described every bit of the night in excruciating detail.

She went with Caleb, her hacker trash, of course. She assured me that he was "dashing as always," and that they danced the night away and then went camping in the woods.

She said it like it was supposed to mean something, but I didn't get it. Did something happen between those two in the woods already?

And, of course, she was brash enough to fill me in on all of her other friends. Hello, I don't care! Spencer brought her on-again BF, Toby, and was apparently disappointed that he wore a shirt. From what I observed of those two when I was A, he liked to display his abs, and Spence appreciated it too. According to Han, they were more blissful than ever. My work to break them up wasn't permanent…

Aria and Emily both went stag, I hear. Aria, of course, couldn't bring her boyfriend, so she danced for a few hours (the other girls convinced her to go for a little while) and then disappeared to Fitz's apartment. As for old Em, she had a few beers before the big dance (drinking's her new thing – Maya's death turned the nice little Christian girl bad!) and then tried to spike the punch. Hanna laughed, saying that she never would have thought that Emily would be the one to do it.

After she detailed all of her friends' experiences, I asked, in the flat monotone I've adopted, "Is there a point to this?"

She sniffed haughtily. "Before, you totally would have loved to hear me talk about prom."

"Before what, exactly?" I asked, my tone icy.

She shifted uncomfortably in her Prada wedges. "Before you went all psycho and tried to ruin my life."

I decided to play the sympathy card. "I didn't 'go all psycho,' Han. I've had this personality disorder forever. You had nothing to do with it."

Her face softened. "I really am sorry, Mona. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, not even A."

I laughed mirthlessly. "I don't care what you think anymore. Don't you know that? I think that you had everything coming to you."

She just shook her head and headed towards the door. "I thought that I might get through to you, but obviously I was wrong."

I waggled my fingers, a little bit of my old personality shining through. "Ta-ta, darling!" I called after her. She just shot me a murderous glance and walked out the door.