After Chapter 21 – The fire does not arrive.

Previously: Tessa’s mom and brotherboyfriend drove all the way here ’cause she was drinking.

Marines: Tessa tells us that breakfast with her mom and Noah is going agonizingly slow. Like, no kidding baby girl, you got super drunk after 20 minutes last night and spent all night walking in circles (probably, because there is no other explanation).

Samantha: Eat some eggs and start an caffeine drip, Tessa. There is no other way, apparently.

Mari: Mommy dearest keeps bringing up Tessa’s “wild night?” and presumably going “are you hungover? How about now? Now?” Noah is oblivious and shoveling pancakes in his mouth like the true little brother that he is. Tessa says she wouldn’t mind spending time with him, but what she really means is that she wants to be alone with him so she can say, “stop telling Mom every detail of my life GOD NOAH.”

Noah asks where Tessa wants to go shopping, but she isn’t sure. He asks if she’s gotten a job yet, but no on that front, too. (S: I have lost all sense of time in this book. It feels like she’s been in school for weeks and weeks but is probably closer to one week, singular?) (M: Yes.) She wants to get a job at a bookstore or an internship in something publishing related. This causes her mom to smile proudly. She approves of this plan so that Tessa will have the chance to be hired on full time once she graduates. Tessa sarcastically says that’ll be ideal. Noah gives her hand a squeeze under the table in solidarity.

Tessa tries to take a bite of pancake but the metal fork in her mouth reminds her of Hardin’s lip ring.

Samantha: Finger foods or plastic cutlery only from now on for Tessa’s psyche!

Mari: She stops dead in her pancake-to-mouth tracks and Noah notices, which of course he does, because she just recoiled from a fork full of pancakes. She orders herself to stop thinking about Hardin (again!) (hey, add it to the drinking game! It is the drinking game!) and kisses Noah’s hand for a distraction.

After breakfast, they all head to the mall. Mommy dearest heads off in her own direction and leaving Noah and Tessa alone. Noah talks about his soccer game and Tessa is sure to tell us that she listens attentively. She also says Noah looks adorable and defends his choice in loafers because it fits his personality, okay??? Tessa compliments him and he returns it out of politeness because we all know what Tessa looks like after a night of heavy drinking, passing out, a makeout sesh and at least two hours of probably walking in circles. (S: Her eyes may be permanently crossed!) Tessa appreciates Noah’s niceness and how un-Hardin like that is. HEY! She thought of Hardin again! This is a stunning turn of events that no one saw coming.


Image result for sarcastic oh my god gif

Mari: Again, in order to distract herself, Tessa decides to kiss Noah, this time on the lips. She pulls him in, but Noah backs away because they are in public. Tessa says no one is looking at them and practically begs Noah to kiss her. He does and she says it’s nice. It’s gentle, slow and there is only a hint of tongue. Tessa “waits for a fire to ignite” within her, but alas. The fire does not arrive.

Tessa decides she can’t compare Noah and Hardin because Noah is her boyfriend whom is loves and Hardin sleeps around. Now that Tessa is thinking about Hardin again, she’s also pulling Noah closer and closer to her. Noah’s like, “what are you doing?” and Tessa gets all embarrassed. She says she just missed him, that’s all. She’s definitely not using physically proximity to her boyfriend to distract her from Hardin or make her feel better about the fact that she was just using this unbrushed mouth to kiss someone else. (Seriously, what’s her breath doing right now? It can’t be anything good…)

Samantha: Poor Mari and various toothbrush trauma.

Mari: Sorry for being ruined.

Tessa asks Noah to please stop telling on her to his mother. He apologizes and says he was just really worried. He promises not to do it again. The day finishes up with a trip to the salon and some layers so step back. Tessa is changing for the more beautiful already. That’s what happens to plain virginal girls in romance stories, FYI. They always get She’s All That-ed. (S: What’s that? I’m gagging? Okay, cool.)

Anyhow, Tessa goes back to her dorm after mom and Noah leave. The room is empty and she’s sad, but she “doesn’t know” if she was expecting Steph or “someone else.” I know! I know! Pick me! Pick me!

Someone else.

She climbs into bed fully dressed and I have no idea what time it is, but she “sleeps the night away” and wakes up the next day at noon? That seems like a hell of a lot of hours if all they did was breakfast, mall and haircut. But okay. She sleeps for 17 hours or whatever.

When she wakes up, Steph is in her bed. Tessa leaves to study. When she gets back, Steph is gone and she doesn’t come home that night. Tessa suddenly is filled with the realization that other people besides her exist and she’s curious about what Steph is up to!


Next time on After: Abelism, douchey behavior and more kissing in Chapter 22.


Marines (all posts)

I'm a 20-something south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is my life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. My main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything I attempt seriously well. After that, my life goals devolve into things like not wearing pants and eating all of the Zebra Cakes in the world. THE WORLD.

Catherine (all posts)

I am a 25 year-old human woman who lives in Maine. I'm a freelance writer who mostly spends time that I should be doing that, watching T.V. I also love reading and comic books way too much.

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  • Alicia

    I think Tessa just wants more of a reason for us to see Noah as boring, that’s why she’s complaining about breakfast going slow, as well as her hangover, of course. So what I’m getting is, she partied hard until like, 4:30 am or so, then walked around in circles for 1.5 hours, got back to the dorms at 6 am, and probably Noah and Tessa’s mom showed up minutes later.

    This makes no sense. Why would Noah call Tessa’s mom to wake her up to alert her that Tessa is out being a hooligan at 4:30 am? Why would anyone feel awake enough to go for a two hour drive just to yell at their daughter? NO parent would ever do that, no matter how upset they were. Most parents would phone-yell, I would think.

    And I have a hard time believing that Tessa feels like going for breakfast then going shopping that early while being hungover. She got drunk in like 20 mins or less. Most of us would be down and out whether they’re an experienced drinker or not.

    I think that no matter how close your boyfriend is to your parents, he shouldn’t be telling Mom every detail of your life or everything you do while you’re away from home. Most boyfriends wouldn’t do that, less they want their balls chopped off.

    Eh, I think she’s been there for two weeks, but you’re right, it feels like a few months that she’s been there from the way everyone’s talking. “You have a job yet? You have a car yet?” She’s only met Hardin not long ago but was already falling for and kissing him at a party. I would think it would take longer to fall for someone who she thought was an asshole at the beginning, and not only that STILL thinks is an asshole. But that’s just me, I guess?

    Of course she thinks of Hardin during breakfast, because her fork in her mouth reminds her of his lip ring…and then compares Noah to him, saying how nice Noah is compared to Hardin. Such wow. Much surprise.

    Lol maybe Noah is kissing her gently because they are, I dunno, IN PUBLIC? And yes, Hardin’s kissed MANY more girls than Noah has, assuming Noah has only kissed Tessa. He could be a better kisser than Noah. Hardin knows what girls like, he’s probably made many girls “feel the fire” that Tessa feels when she’s near him. As we are proven later on -cough-

    Yes, Tessa, the virginal girl, must get the makeover while away at college to come back home super-hot and soon a sex-expert after sleeping with the local bad boy.

    Let’s see, breakfast at 7 am (assuming it took an hour for her mom to yell at her), I’m guessing breakfast would probably take another hour, most malls don’t open until 9 am at least here, unless there’s some mall that opens at around 8 am where Tessa lives. Shopping probably until at least noon or one, hair cut might take an hour, the LATEST she could get back to the dorms would be around three or four if they hung out after the hair cut. She’d STILL be sleeping for a ridiculous amount of time. And I like how she writes, “Sleeps the night away”. More like, sleeps half the day and night and another half day. I guess she must secretly be a cat.

    Oh boy, I wonder if Tessa is so curious to what Steph is up to that she decides to…go to another party??

    • JA Jenks

      You don’t think Tessa will actually go to another party do you? I mean… surely she’s learned her lesson! She’ll just stay home, study, be a good girl for Noah and her mom. There’s no way she’ll go to more parties, bang a bad boy, make terrible life choices repeatedly… I mean nah.

      • Alicia

        Nah, she’s learned her lesson by now and will NEVER go to another party just to whine the whole time. She won’t keep cheating on her boring boyfriend, she won’t stop being a dumbass when it comes to Hardin. She’s going to stay sober now and be a good girl. No more crazy drunken parties for her.

        • JA Jenks

          Only healthy, non-toxic, drama free relations for our Tessa from here on out!

          • Alicia

            Lol oh but apparently having a drama-free relationship is boring. That’s sure a good excuse to get involved with a dickhead who’s constantly making you cry and causing drama. It also seems to be the message here. Girls, get you a man who loves making you cry, who wants to invade your personal space, who makes you afraid he’s going to hit you, and who’s just an overall dick waffle. That’s the recipe for a true love story.

      • Samantha

        Oh god I don’t know how to recap any more parties.

        • aqua_13

          With alcohol. Just not as much as Tessa consumes or you’ll end up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning (which somehow Tessa never does) or dead. Actually never mind the alcohol. Get yourself about a dozen puppies (or baby animal of choice) to snuggle with as your reward.

  • Da Bomb From Guam Mafnas

    I’ve seen a lot of people with tongue rings and piercings of all kinds and I have never once eaten anything and thought of their piercings when I put the fork in my mouth. Also, I imagine Tessa put the fork tines directly on her tongue for that effect to happen. Which…is not how people normally eat pancakes. Or any food for that matter.

    • Samantha

      It’s so true. Why, when authors are actual people as far as I can tell, do they sometimes people so badly?

    • The Bad Slayer

      I’ve had all manner of piercings and have also never thought of my piercings as fork like.

  • Sarah

    If she was up since the previous morning, isn’t feeling well, and potentially has enough sleep debt built up I can see sleeping for 17 hours straight. I’ve done 15-16 hours of sleep if all the right factors are involved. Stress and lack of quality sleep (you’re tired, but your body knows your cycle and tries to cling to it, but you’re tired so you sleep longer to recover because you’re not sleeping as deeply as you need to) could add to it as well.

    The rest of it is still dumber than a sack of rocks, though.

  • The Bad Slayer

    OMG you guys. I have been waiting for the next post all week. Now, ive been pretty vocal of never reading Smeyers crap and i didnt start reading this either, nor did i ever intend to. However, i was bored and looked it up and fell down the A-hole. No joke, I am currently on chapter 227 (its in book 3). I didn’t buy it so I’m reading the Wattpad OG version. I have so much to say!
    First, still better writing than EL. By leaps and bounds. Second, taken in total this could have easily been 1 book. Girlfriend did not need 4. Third, i dont think the dumb tiny chapters are the authors fault, I think thats a bad decision on the editors part. AT basically wrote a little here and would post, a little more and would post. Breaking apart like that served her purpose for Wattpad. A professional editor should have been like, Nope. And finally, and I know you guys won’t believe me but….Tessa is a better character than Bella or Ana, COMBINED. I don’t want to give anything away but she is.

    Now, I don’t see how this is supposed to be 1D fanfic. All Todd did was give her characters the names of the guys in her favorite band. Harry (Hardin) i think is supposed to look like his namesake but the comparison literally stops there. Truthfully, reading this really seemed more like someone working out their issues from their first real relationship. A lot of it was just dumb shit that 18-20 year olds say/do.

    • Samantha

      Yeah, I curse and blame the editors in my sleep at this point.

  • Catherine

    Why is her boyfriend travelling around with her mother so, so much? Do they need to admit something to Tessa? Something of the Mrs. Robinson variety?

    • Samantha

      I can’t decide if that’s better or worse than the current story. My ability to judge story is all fucked up.