After Chapter 37 – Disgusting.

Previously: Hardin barged into Tessa’s dorm room again again again again.

Marines: Just to get your romance juices flowing (or whatever) here’s the first line of this chapter:

Being the disgusting person that he is, Hardin is sitting on my bed when I return.” 

Wow. Much swoon.

Samantha: Oh no, my panties explo- oh wait, no they didn’t. They’re icy. 

Mari: Tessa has visions of bashing him over the head with a lampshade but doesn’t have the energy to fight with him. For those playing along, this resigned, “I don’t want to fight with you” thing is something that crops up a lot in abuse-disguised-as-romance books. And I mean, I’m sure we’ve all been emotionally exhausted. I get it. But too many times, the emotional exhaustion wrought by the love interest is then used as an excuse for further bad behavior from the love interest or to gloss over the really crappy things these men have done.

Samantha: Didn’t Hardin say last chapter that he’d be done if Tessa went after Noah? GO BE DONE OUT OF THIS CHAPTER, BUDDY.

Mari: If only.

Hardin says he isn’t going to apologize. Tessa goes to Steph’s bed and thinks about how tired she is and how much she didn’t expect an apology. Because remember, max cruelty, disgusting person, etc.

And more:

Last night I thought he was an angry boy whose father left him, and that he held on to that hurt, using the only emotion he could to keep people out. This morning, I see that he is just a terrible, hateful person. There is nothing good about Hardin.”

I know that there are lots of people who really enjoy hate-to-love kinds of stories. Hell, one of my favorites of all time, Pride and Prejudice, is in that same vein. I just rather it all be about misunderstandings and such and not learning to live with the crappy things the other person does to you, you know? I mention this now (again?) (probably) because I do not see how we could go from this point of Tessa saying THERE IS NOTHING GOOD ABOUT HARDIN to a full-fledged romance, especially because I imagine it doesn’t involve apologizing, groveling, time apart, and maturing. I do imagine the author means to say that you can find a human utterly revolting and still fall in love with him because he makes your down there feel that way.

Hardin says Noah needed to know. Tessa tries not to cry. Hardin moves toward her, and she tells him to leave. He does. JUST KIDDING. I wanted to see if you were all paying attention. (S: Don’t play me like that!) Instead, Hardin sits on the bed with her, causing her to jump up. He repeats that Noah needed to know and it tips Tessa’s anger scale. She asks why Noah needed to know and what difference it made to Hardin if he didn’t. Hardin says he would want to know if he were Noah. Tessa says Hardin isn’t Noah and never will be. She was stupid to think he could be anything close to Noah. Hardin snaps at her for comparing him to Noah and uh… bro. You started that one. Literally a sentence ago you said, “if I were him…” (S: I honestly do not know if I hate him or the shitty, shitty writing more.)

Tessa hates how Hardin is only replying to one of the many things she said and twisting it. (S: Also classic abuser tactic.) Hardin tries to get closer to Tessa and she is now scrambling further and further away. We’re reaching “are we about to witness a murder?” territory again. Tessa says there is no comparison between Hardin and Noah. She calls Hardin a cruel and disgusting jerk. Noah loves her and is willing to forgive her for her terrible mistakes.

Using “mistakes” really upsets Hardin. Tessa says that yes, Noah will forgive her so Hardin’s plan to get her dumped so that he can sit back and laugh won’t work.


I see.

So Tessa has Hardin’s ~*motivations*~ for his dickish behavior kind of wrong so that’s why she’ll later be like oh I see you are not the most disgusting human I know.

I see.

I hate it.


Image result for i'm tired gif

Mari: Hardin tries to say that he wasn’t doing this to laugh at Tess, but she keeps cutting him off because not using your words is what passes as a plot here. She yells at him to get the fuck out. He keeps trying to explain that after the previous night, he just thought that he and Tessa were something. Tessa is convinced he’s lying just so that he can be mean to her later. Hardin again insists that isn’t the truth, but Tess won’t let him talk. She thinks that he’s trying to convince her that he feels the same way she does about him.

Hardin’s ears perk up because all he heard was that Tessa has feelings for him. Tessa notes that he looks hopeful and comments on his great acting skills. This is so bad it hurts.

Tessa thinks her feelings are implied because she’s been subjecting herself to this unhealthy cycle of a “relationship.” But hark! She realizes that she’s barely admitted her feelings to herself and certainly hasn’t talked about them with Hardin. Not that she’s going to do that now, though. She just tells him to get out again. I’m not complaining. The longer we don’t have to have a feelings talk THE BETTER. And fingers crossed that it doesn’t eventually happen in a chapter where Tessa calls Hardin disgusting.

Samantha: Let’s be real, it will probably happen in the same sentence she calls him disgusting.

Mari: And bookended by unsexiest sex. Our future is bleak.

Hardin calls Tessa “Tess” and it pisses her off because that’s what her family and friends call her. But really she hates it because his mouth is sexy when he says Tess. I’M NOT MAKING THAT UP.

Finally, thankfully, Steph comes home and interrupts them. She quickly notices that Tessa is crying and Noah is gone and asks WTF is going on. Tessa asks her to please get Hardin out, and she obliges. In the hall, Steph yells at Hardin because Tessa is good and innocent and too good for him.

Samantha: I’m glad someone is yelling at Hardin but also I don’t really like Tessa.

Mari: It’s the big conundrum of this awful book. Should Noah have known his girlfriend was cheating on him? Yeah, probably. Tessa was being awful. Was it Hardin’s place to barge in and do what he did? Nope, probably not. Hardin was being awful. Should someone yell at Hardin? Yes, definitely. Is Tessa actually “too good” for Hardin? Questionable. No one deserves abuse full stop. New sentence, did I mention that Tessa is awful?

Tessa says her heart hurts. It’s not because her boyfriend just broke up with her, though. It’s because spending the night with the boy she just spent the entire chapter calling THE WORST made her fall deep, deep in love with him. Even though the night ended with an abrupt end to sexy times because he is terrible.

Hardin insists to Steph that it isn’t like what she’s accusing him of. Steph doesn’t buy it and says that Tessa is too sensitive for his bullshit. This also upsets Tessa because she doesn’t like that Steph thinks of her as weak and sensitive. But then she admits to herself that she is too emotional for this.

Samantha: Hey, btw, being sensitive does not mean you’re weak!

Mari: Hardin finally snaps and tells Steph to not bring Tess to anymore of his parties. He stomps away and then turns back to say that he really means it. If he sees Tessa again he will “ruin her.”


Samantha: At least Hardin can’t ruin us. CHRISTIAN GRAY GOT THERE FIRST, HARDY BOY.



Next time on After: Tessa is sad for a few paragraphs in “Chapter” 38.


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.

Samantha (all posts)

I'm a 25 year old graduated English major I can often be found singing too loudly (poorly) in the car or spending some time (hours) on Tumblr. I am a lover of Harry Potter, the Spice Girls, and too many other things.

Did you like this? Share it:

  • JA Jenks

    I don’t think it’s been mentioned (?) but while everyone is distracted by Tess and Hardin’s overtly awful personalities and existence, undercover awful people kind of get overlooked because they’re not quite as in your face. I’d like to take this time to say fuck you Steph. I see you.

    • The Bad Slayer
      • JA Jenks

        Sadly, I’ve read them all. I’ve seen it.

    • Something to… look forward to…? I feel like Steph has been mostly badly written to innocuous so far, though mostly I side with her because Tessa’s commentary toward her is so bitchy. We talk about it in the next recap but there is always some kind of dig at Steph anytime she is present. I’m sure she’ll do something to earn it soon.

      • Charlie

        It’s at the end of the book or the next book depending on how they are separated, from after a “twist”. Todd somehow mangaded to ruin even “good” characters.

    • Blinvy .

      I’ve, sadly, read the whole thing too, a long time ago. I know what Steph does but I HATE with a passion how thrown under the bus she gets. Spoilers for those who haven’t read the entire thing:

      Sebz jung V pna erzrzore, gurer’f guvf org ba jub pna gnxr Grffn’f ivetvavgl be fbzrguvat naq juvyr Fgrcu jnf vaibyirq naq qvqa’g gryy Grffn nobhg vg, V fgvyy srry yvxr gur oblf jrer jbefr naq V UNGR gung Grffn bs pbhefr, npprcgf Uneqva’f ncbybtl naq tbrf onpx gb uvz ohg ershfrf gb gnyx gb Fgrcu be npprcg ure ncbybtl.

      Yvxr, V trg orvat cvffrq ng nyy bs gurz ohg gur zvahgr lbh tb onpx naq or jvgu gur crefba jub jnf npghnyyl fhcre qvfthfgvat naq tebff gb lbh ohg lbh pna’g sbetvir gur tvey jub xarj naq qvqa’g jnea lbh orsber? Gurer’f fbzrguvat jrveq gurer. Grffn’f vagreanyvmrq zvfbtlal fuvarf urer.

      Ntnva, V’z abg fnlvat gung Fgrcu qvqa’g qb jebat ohg gur jnl gur nhgube gjvfgf guvatf gb znxr ure gur ivyynva va guvf fvghngvba naq abg Uneqva (jub npgviryl chefhrq ure, unq frk jvgu ure naq (ONES) gbbx gur fbvyrq furrgf gb fubj uvf sevraqf gung ur’q “gnxra” ure ivetvavgl? Gung’f yriryf bs tebff gung ab bar fubhyq or noyr gb sbetvir. Lrg, fur qbrf naq gjvfgf vg fb gung Fgrcu vf gur rivy bar. V qba’g rira guvax fur’f nf znq ng Mnar (V qba’g xabj uvf anzr va guvf irefvba) nf fur vf ng Fgrcu naq gung vf whfg shpxrq hc.

      • The Bad Slayer

        Are you well? You seem to have suffered some type of neurologic issue as you typed.

        • Blinvy .

          It’s Rot13, to hide the spoilers. But also, I’m insane. 😛

          • The Bad Slayer

            I could pretend to be cool or hip and be all, yeah, totally! Rot13! Wooo! But I don’t have the first fucking clue. I will at some point in the future google it though because my need to know what you said is too compelling a force.

          • Blinvy .

            Here’s the site:
            You just copy and paste my text in there and it will translate it for you.

          • The Bad Slayer

            Guna lbh zhfg abg unir ernq nyy gur obbxf…va obbx 2 be 3 (tnt) Fgrcu snpvyvgngrf na nggrzcgrq encr bs Grffn jvgu Zbyyl naq n lrg gb or vagebqhprq thl anzrq Qna. Gheaf bhg Qnaf n wrex ohg ur jrag nybat jvgu gur encr cyna orpnhfr Uneqva shpxrq guna “ehvarq” Qna’f fvfgre. Tebff.


          • Blinvy .

            Oh. My. God. I am so glad I gave up before any of that happened. What in the actual fuck? Ew.
            If Grey is a monster, what does that make Hardin? Because Hardin sounds way, way worse.

          • JA Jenks

            Lrnu, gur ivetvavgl gnxvat guvat jnf njshy. Fvzcyl njshy. Ohg gur nggrzcgrq encr guvat? Ab jnl. Shpx Fgrcu. Va n obbx shyy bs greevoyr crbcyr, gung chg ure pybfr gb gur gbc sbe zr.

      • Charlie

        I haven’t read all of this (I only got past when Grffn svaqf bhg nobhg gur org), but wow do I agree! Also got that thing with the furrgf, yikes! I am not sure if I am more disgusted at Harding for doing it in universe or at Anna Todd for writing it, but either way I want to throw up. Maybe she thought it was better than some of the other options but it’s… not.

  • Alicia

    Tessa hates Hardin so much, thinking all these violent thoughts about him (she wants to hit him with a lamp), and yet she’s STILL there with him. WHY?? If you hate someone you have the choice to leave them alone. Sure, Hardin is Steph’s friend, so he would be around Steph, but is there any reason for him to come to Steph’s dorm all the time, seeing as they constantly see each other at parties? It’s not like they study or do any school work together. Tessa could either just switch dorms without a word and not tell Hardin which new dorm is hers, or tell Steph that if she doesn’t stop Hardin from barging in, she’ll switch. However Hardin seems to have these stalker tendencies towards Tessa, but she could have ended things even after the first kiss and he probably would have been less likely to follow her. But she kept coming back, so by this point it’s not an accident nor a mistake.

    And yes, Hardin did say that if Tessa goes after Noah, he will be done with her. Uh, they haven’t even started anything, but okay. Other than the cheating there really isn’t anything romantic between them. And cheating is not romantic or hot. It’s also not a “mistake”. It’s a choice. You can choose to cheat, like Tessa did, and keep on cheating. You can cheat once, then stop, if you really feel guilty. Or you can, you know, not cheat? Anna Todd is trying real hard to glamorize cheating, and treats Noah like he’s a sac of flour, just there in the book for the soul reason of being punched around until ultimately, Tessa decides to be exclusive with Hardin. Noah literally didn’t do anything bad to Tessa to deserve being treated like a piece of shit. This makes me really mad. FYI, relationships born from infidelity are very, very likely not to work. They can, but it’s not a good chance at all.

    Of course Hardin doesn’t need to apologize, he wasn’t in the wrong in this situation. He wasn’t at “max cruelty”. He simply told Noah the truth when Tessa was going to continue to lie to Noah. Or she probably would have told him some fudged up version of the truth where somehow Hardin came on to her and she is the victim etc. Tessa thinks that telling the truth is max cruelty lol. Girl you got another think coming.

    Again, more proof that Tessa hates Hardin and thinks he is a terrible person. She thinks this many times. But somehow it’ll bloom into romance because he makes her down there feel good. So fucking annoying.

    For once, I have to agree with Hardin about him saying how he would want to know if he was Noah. Tessa basically told him she wanted to keep it a secret and not let Noah find out, therefore she wanted to keep cheating. I doubt she would have told him the truth anytime soon if Hardin hadn’t done it for her. Tessa is awful. Hardin shouldn’t have done it the way he did, but Tessa is a cheater so she deserves to be outed.

    Of course Hardin’s back to being annoying when Tessa tries to tell him to get out and that he’s lying and trying to convince her that he feels the same way about her that she does for him, and that’s all Hardin hears. Dude, she wants you to get out, gtfo. Hardin’s never good at listening to anyone, of course. Because that’s the kind of guy girls want, apparently.

    And we have to take a break in the yelling for Tessa to comment on Hardin’s “sexy” mouth. Oh my, much romance, so swoon.

    Of course Tessa’s heart doesn’t hurt because her long-time boyfriend just broke up with her. She may feel a twinge of guilt but it’ll pass because her woman parts are in love with Hardin. I don’t think that’s love, Tessa. If you feel sexually attracted to someone, but actually hate them because they are awful, it’s no excuse to get yourself into a bad situation with them and it’s also not “love”, it’s just physical attraction. There are other guys that I’m sure will make Tessa’s woman parts excited, and probably treat her better than Hardin does, but she keeps going on that Hardin is the only one who makes her feel this way. She doesn’t know that, because she had no experience prior to him.

    This is another thing that annoys me in these novels. These female characters insist their abusive male love interest is the only one who can make their panties wet, but they have not had any experience before them, so I don’t know…just doesn’t make sense. It’s like because the abusive love interest took their virginity, or messed around sexually with them, they HAVE to stay with that person no matter the level of abuse. You DON’T HAVE TO STAY WITH SOMEONE WHO IS ABUSIVE AND TERRIBLE JUST BECAUSE YOU WERE SEXUAL WITH THEM. Just a small life lesson.

  • Mae

    “this resigned, “I don’t want to fight with you” thing is something that crops up a lot in abuse-disguised-as-romance books.”
    Like you said, we all get emotionally exhausted at times. But what gets me is how frequently this happens in these shitty books. Honey, if you get emotionally exhausted by your lover at least once every other day, you need to break up because that shit ain’t normal and healthy.

    Uh, spoiler alert I guess, but you’ll lose count of how many times they each claim they’ll be done with the other if X happens. Then X happens and they fuck it out instead. I figure you ladies pretty much assumed that because you learned well from Fifty Shades.

    “she hates it because his mouth is sexy when he says Tess”
    So, is it unsexy when he says Tessa or Theresa? And have we actually heard anyone else in her life call her Tess? IIRC, both her mom and Noah call her Tessa and they’re the only other people in her life. But this was the point when it felt like Todd was shoving a Tess of the d’Urbervilles theme
    down our throats with Tess caught between Alec/Hardin and Angel/Noah.

    “If he sees Tessa again he will “ruin her.”
    She can clearly hear this and she STILL falls in love with this douchecanoe.

    • It isn’t normal, it isn’t healthy, AND it isn’t fun to read about? Like why would I want to read a “romance” in which the main character is basically EMOTIONALLY WORN OUT INTO A RELATIONSHIP. And I say that knowing that this series certainly has its audience but that doesn’t mean I have to get why.

      I mean we’re still so early in the book (so, so early) and they already have promised not to see each other ever! again! like 5-7 times.

      How sexy could his mouth saying Tess. The prevalent sounds there are a hard t and hissing. Like, wtf. How much unsexier could an A really make all of that. WHY DOES NOTHING MAKE SENSE?

      I definitely would not get with a guy who promises to ruin me when he’s mad. There’s very little coming back from RUIN even if he is later sorry.

    • Alicia

      Yep, you’re right. When X happens, Tessa pushes the super important issue aside so she can get in Hardin’s pants again, where she feels most happy. And even then, he sometimes does things that make her uncomfortable so again….not healthy.

      Sorry but if a guy told me angrily that he will ruin me if he sees me again, I don’t think I would want to bother with someone like that anymore. She hasn’t known Hardin that long, nor do they have any good times other than when they are sexual (except the time he shut her out because she wouldn’t say vagina), surely it shouldn’t be that hard to break it off with him?

  • Sarah

    Oh, my god, honey, you don’t need to be madly in love with someone to have sex with them! Consent, yes, romance, no. Honestly, just screw him, or jill off, or SOMETHING and get it out of your system!

    • Joy

      Put us all out of our misery please?

    • JA Jenks

      But his magic penis would have her dickmatised and she’s never jilled off a day in her life! She’s SO PURE, only Hardin has jilled her off.

      • Sarah

        Ah, yes, how silly of me to forget that only harlots have even the remotest knowledge of anything sexual until their sexuality is awakened by a man!

        That’s yet another thing that bothers me about this book. If she knew about masturbation, before or after Hardin brought her off, and just wasn’t interested, fine. Some people aren’t and that’s totally okay. If we’d seen her think “Turns out I like orgasms, wonder if I can do that myself?”, “Huh, so that’s an orgasm. Don’t really get what the big deal is”, or ANYTHING ABOUT HER FIRST SEXUAL EXPERIENCE it’d be another matter entirely. But so far as I can remember, nope.