Wanted Page 30

’’You\'ve got a deal,’’ Spencer said, giggling.

Two bright pink spots appeared on Melissa\'s cheeks, almost like she was happy. The warm feeling in Spencer\'s stomach grew and grew. Just a few weeks ago, she\'d had two sisters. Now she was down to only one. But maybe Melissa was the only sister she\'d ever really needed. Perhaps Melissa even could be the sister Spencer had always wanted...and Spencer could be that sister to Melissa, too. Maybe all they had to do was give each other a chance.



Instead of driving straight home from the hospital, Emily made the turn down Goshen Road. It was a hilly, picturesque lane that featured a series of dairy farms, a crumbling stone wall from the Revolutionary War, and a mansion so huge and sprawling that it had three separate garages and its own helipad.

Eventually, she came to the wrought-iron gate of St. Basil\'s cemetery. Dusk was setting in fast, but the gate was still open, and there were a couple of cars parked in the lot. Emily pulled in next to a Jeep Liberty and turned off the engine. She sat for a moment, taking heaping breaths. Then she reached into the glove compartment and pulled out a plastic bag she\'d stashed there.

Her Vans sank in the wet, soft grass as she walked past the graves, many of them bearing fresh flowers and American flags. Emily reached the headstone she was looking for in no time, wedged prettily between two pine trees. Alison Lauren DiLaurentis, the grave said. It was surprising that it was still here, being that Ali\'s family had left Rosewood forever.

And that it wasn\'t actually Ali who was buried here, but Courtney.

Emily traced the A on the headstone with her thumb. She had prided herself on knowing Ali so intimately, better than any of the others. And yet she hadn\'t known that the girl she was kissing wasn\'t the Ali she\'d known all those years before. She\'d been too blinded by love. Even today, a big part of her still couldn\'t believe it had happened. She couldn\'t grasp that the girl who\'d come back to them wasn\'t the Ali she\'d known and that the Ali she\'d known wasn\'t the real Ali at all.

Emily knelt down next to Ali\'s grave and plunged her hand into the plastic bag. The patent leather change purse squeaked against her fingers. She\'d stuffed it with as many photos and notes from Ali as she could, the sides bulging and the zipper barely closing. Sighing, she traced a finger over the E. Ali had presented it to Emily after French class in sixth grade. ’’Pour vous, from moi,’’ she\'d said.

’’What\'s the occasion?’’ Emily asked.

’’There isn\'t one.’’ Ali bumped Emily\'s hip. ’’Just that I hope Emily Fields is my very bestest friend forever.’’

Emily could practically hear Ali\'s voice now, whistling in the wind. She started to dig into the earth next to the grave. Dirt got underneath her fingernails and all over her palms, but she burrowed down at least a foot before she stopped. Taking a deep breath, she dropped the change purse in. Hopefully, the purse would stay buried this time. This was where the purse should be the notes and pictures, too. It was Emily\'s own little Time Capsule, something that would symbolize her friendship with her Ali forever. Emily\'s bulletin board looked so bare without all the photos, but she\'d have to fill it with new memories. Hopefully, ones that included Aria, Spencer, and Hanna.

’’Bye, Ali,’’ Emily said softly. Leaves rustled. A car swished on the street below, its headlights bouncing off the tree trunks. As she was about to leave, she heard another noise. She stopped. It sounded like a snicker.

Emily scanned the trees, but there was no one there. She glanced at the other graves, but nobody moved among the headstones. She even looked up into the sky, as if searching for a blond head among the darkening clouds. She thought about the Web site she\'d stumbled upon the other day, a collection of anonymous Twitters from people who\'d sworn they\'d seen Alison DiLaurentis. I just saw her walking into J. Crew in Phoenix, AZ, one of the posts said. I definitely saw Ali at Starbucks in Boulder, tweeted another. There were at least fifty of them, new ones being added every day.

’’Who\'s there?’’ Emily whispered.

Five long seconds passed, but no one answered.

Emily let out a shaky breath. Gathering her strength, she started down the hill to the car. Served her right for hanging around the cemetery at night all kinds of innocuous sounds and shadows seemed scary in the dark. It was probably just the wind.

Or...was it?

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