Excerpt of Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares
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was in a mood. All she could see was change. All anybody talked about was
change. She didnt like Bees wearing heels for the second day in a row. She
felt peevish about Lenas getting three inches trimmed off her hair. Couldnt
everybody just leave everything alone for a few minutes?
Tibby was a slow adjuster. In preschool, her teachers had said she had trouble
with transitions. Tibby preferred looking backward for information rather than
forward. As far as she was concerned, shed take a nursery school report card
over a fortune-teller any day of the week. It was the cheapest and best
Tibby saw Gildas through these same eyes. It was changing. Its glory days of
the late nineteen eighties were far behind it. It was showing its age. The
once-shiny wood floor was scratched and dull. One of the mirror panels was
cracked. The mats looked as old as Tibby, and theyd been cleaned much less.
Gildas was trying to get with the times, offering kickboxing and yoga,
according to the big chalkboard, but it didnt look to Tibby like that was
helping much. What if it went out of business? What a horrible thought. Maybe
Tibby should buy a subscription of classes here? No, that would be weird,
Tibby, you ready? Lena was looking at her with concerned eyebrows.
What if Gildas closes? Tibby opened her mouth, and that was what came out.
Carmen, holding the Traveling Pants, Lena, lighting the candles, Bee, fussing
with the dimmer switches near the door, all turned to her.
Look at this place. Tibby gestured around. I mean, who comes here?
Lena was puzzled. I dont know. Somebody. Women. Yoga people.
Yoga people? Carmen asked.
I dont know, Lena said again, laughing.
Tibby was the one most capable of emotional detachment, but tonight it all lay
right on the surface. Her irrational thoughts about Gildas made her feel
desperate, like its demise could swallow up their whole existencelike a change
in the present could wipe out the past. The past felt fragile to her. But the
past was set, right? It couldnt be changed. Why did she feel such a need to
I think its Pants time, Carmen said. The snacks were out. The candles were
lit. The egregiously bad dance music played.
Tibby wasnt sure she wanted it to be Pants time yet. She was having enough
trouble maintaining control. She was scared of them noticing what all this
Too late. Out of Carmens arms came the artifacts of their ritual. The Pants,
slowly unfolding from their winter compression, seeming to gain strength as they
mixed with the special air of Gildas. Carmen laid them on the ground, and on
top of them the manifesto, written on that first night two years before,
describing the rules of wearing them. Silently they formed their circle,
studying the inscriptions and embroidery that chronicled their summer lives.
Tonight we say good-bye to high school, and bye to Bee for a while, Carmen
said in her ceremonial voice. We say hello to summer, and hello to the
Her voice grew less ceremonial. Tonight we are not worrying about good-bye to
each other. Were saving that for the beach at the end of the summer. Thats the
Tibby felt like kissing Carmen. Brave as she was, even Carmen was daunted by the
implications of looking ahead.
Thats the deal, Tibby agreed heartily.
The last weekend of the summer had already become sacred in their minds. Sacred
and feared. The Morgans owned a house right on the beach in Rehoboth. They had
offered it to Carmen for that final weekend, in part, Carmen suspected, because
they had gotten an au pair from Denmark and felt guilty about not hiring Carmen
to babysit this summer as she had done the summer before.
Excerpted from Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares Copyright © 2005 by Ann Brashares. Excerpted by permission of Delacorte Books for Young Readers, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.