I have, for most part, spent the day lounging in bed, reading. My previous post talked about books that I could not seem to finish… Today, however, I temporarily said goodbye to Harry and decided to go on a trip with Carmen Lowell, Tibby Rollins, Lena Kaligaris and Bee Vreeland. For those who tread the same paths as me, you know them as the girls in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
I first met these four ladies when the first film adaptation (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) came out so many years ago. Camille and I were still friends at that time, and even referred to it as a “sister movie”. That alone should give you an idea of how long ago the first film came out.
The books I only really began to read earlier this year. Less than a quarter after I got my hands on the first Sisterhood novel, I was done with the series. I also have a copy of 3 Willows, which, as I understand it, is a spin-off of the original series, but haven’t really gotten around to reading that. A couple of months ago, I discovered Ann Brashares’ website and found out she had a couple of books scheduled to be released this year. The one I was looking forward to was her first adult novel – The Last Summer (of me and you). Imagine my surprise when, after checking 4shared for new Ann Brashares books, I found a copy of Sisterhood Everlasting.
Set 10 years after Forever in Blue (the fourth Sisterhood book), it begins with Carmen narrating and briefly gives a backgound of how far (or not-so-far) the girls have gone in terms of living their lives. The book takes a severely serious turn that made me put it down for a couple of days, opting to spend more time with Harry, excitedly anticipating book 7. I had a feeling Sisterhood Everlasting would depress me to no end.
Today, however, I decided to continue where I left off… I finished the book in the middle of the afternoon. And by that time, my eyes were puffy and my nose was runny. It was a good thing Brian was asleep for most of the afternoon. I think I’m one of the few people left in the world who actually cries over books.
Just like how my addiction with the Harry Potter books began, my attention was originally caught by the film adaptation. And just like most film adaptations, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 1 & 2 had nothing on the 4 books. Even now, I remember how I always thought I was like Lena – the introverted artist who felt so deeply about Kostos. It did not hurt that Alexis Bledel (Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls) played her. She was the one who felt things so deeply that it often times became silence because words could not do it justice. I always thought I was most like her.
When I began reading the books, however, I understood that Lena, despite the initial attraction, was not who I was. Yes, the frequent inability to express feelings and the natural inclination towards the arts is something we have in common, but her story was so much different from mine. How she chooses to deal with her feelings for Kostos was something I could never ever see myself doing. I am probably as much a martyr as the next person when it comes to falling in love, but sitting quietly in the sidelines while nursing a broken heart was never my style. Her true love slept with another girl (albeit they were broken up at that time) and believed to have gotten her pregnant, for Goddess’s sake! Kostos and Lena’s love story is poignant and profound and deeper than most love stories go, but happy as I was for Lena by the final chapter of Sisterhood Everlasting, I knew I was not her.
I was the girl who lost her mother, who almost lost herself, who was forever looking for something that seemed to perpetually elude her. I was the girl who had a hole so big in her heart that she almost drowned in it once or twice. I was the girl who loved life fiercely – so fiercely that it sometimes appeared to other people that she lived in abandon, never truly conforming to society’s idea of what was acceptable or not.
I was the girl who lived both in light and shadows, who felt bliss and grief in equally extreme amounts, forever in search of something that would give her peace.
At the end of it all, I realized that I was Bridget Vreeland. And although I was never a soccer star, never made people stare at me because of such undeniable beauty, when I looked past the superficial storylines and went into the heart of it all, it was like reading my feelings off the page.
I was, and always have been, Bee.