After Chapter 45 – Every day I’m shuddering.

Previously: Tessa accepted a dinner invite from Papa de Hardin.

Marines: We join Tessa running after Hardin just after he tossed a chair in a frozen yogurt establishment.

Hardin suddenly turns around and screams, “what the fuck was that?” He’s causing such a scene that people are stopping to stare, but that doesn’t bother Hardin one bit.

What kind of game are you trying to play here?” He moves toward me. He is angry– beyond angry.”

That’s scary. I mean, Tessa previously told us that he turns around so suddenly that she almost crashes into him, so they are already standing pretty close to each other. And he’s yelling and moving toward her AND THIS IS SCARY AND PHYSICALLY INTIMIDATING.

Samantha: Yep. This whole scene I kept waiting for the owners of the yogurt establishment or an onlooker to call the police. This is beyond alarming and into NOPE.

Mari: Tessa tells Hardin that there is no game here. It was just obvious that Papa de Hardin really wanted him to come over and he was trying to “reach out” and Hardin was being so “disrespectful.” I mentioned last recap that Tessa is wrong (but Hardin is a dick), but just to reiterate, this is disgustingly presumptuous of her. I mean, I’m sure it was uncomfortable for her to be caught up in that exchange, but she’s assuming a whole lot about a father son relationship, based on like 5 interactions she’s had with Hardin, all of which have ended terribly. Go fix your own relationships TESSA.

Samantha: What’s that I hear? A difficult mother relationship and a boyfriend you keep cheating on?

Mari: Those are the ones.

Hardin keeps yelling so loudly that the veins in his neck bulge. He thinks maybe Papa de Hardin should’ve reached out to him back when he was abandoning his family. Tessa tells him to stop swearing (not to stop yelling or getting in her face…) and explains that sometimes people make mistakes like abandoning their family but sometimes they make up for it by giving you a room full of clothes at their house. Something like that.

You don’t know shit about him, Tessa!” he screams and shudders with anger.” 



Samantha: Oh this looks fun.

Image result for rage gifs   Image result for rage gifs

Mari: Hardin is hulking out, or whatever, because his dad lives in a mansion while his mom works 50 hours a week and struggles to pay the bills. Did she sign a pre-nup? Is she mismanaging her alimony? Did she cheat? I don’t actually care about any of these questions. Hardin gets in the car and Tessa has to scramble in after he because she’s scared that he might just drive off without  her. (S: Seriously, just let him and call a Lyft.) “So much for our argument-free day,” Tessa obviouses.

They ride for a little bit in silence and part of Tessa wants to keep it that way and the other part shows us just how unaware Anna Todd is of the characters and relationship that she created:

But part of me insists that Hardin needs to understand that I will not be yelled at; that is one redeeming quality I give my mother credit for. She showed me exactly how not to be treated by a man.”

Honey, baby, child. He has been treating you this way SINCE THE BEGINNING. Also, your dad presumably mistreated his wife because of his alcoholism and Hardin has displayed alcohol-influenced aggression. So please. Stop. (S: I am genuinely concerned with Anna Todd’s brain functions.)

Tessa feign calm and says that she will indeed mind her own business but also that she is accepting the invitation that night whether or not Hardin goes. He yells about that. Tessa says maybe she should call Zed and see if he is free for a dinner with Hardin’s dad (?) (S: lolol) and Hardin yells about that, but also jerks the car so hard on a busy road to get to the shoulder that he sprays up dirt. I mean, we could count all the ways he endangers her life, but maybe it’s enough to say “too many.”

Tessa yells at him now, asking what is wrong with him. He yells back that she not only accepted this dinner invitation on his behalf, but now he’s bringing Zed into him. Tessa makes fun of him for not telling all his cool friends that Landon is his step-brother.

He is not my stepbrother, for one. And two, you know that isn’t why I don’t want Zed there.” His voice is much lower now, yet still thick with anger. But through the chaos in the car, that bubble of hope grows again at Hardin’s jealousy. I know his feelings are more of a competition thing than actual concern over my being with him, but it still makes my stomach flutter.”

Hey, remember shuddering with anger?


He literally just threw a chair, yelled at you a lot and whipped his car onto the side of the road to yell at you some more TELL YOUR STOMACH TO STOP IT. (S: Those butterflies might actually be the yogurt about to make an escape.)

Tessa keeps up this stupid ruse and tells Hardin that if he won’t go with her, she’ll have to invite Zed. She tells us though she would never do that, in case we were confused about what is going on here. (S: Well this isn’t manipulation at all or anything.) Hardin uses his inside voice to tell her that he really doesn’t want to go have dinner with his dad’s new family. He avoids them for a reason. Tessa “lightens her tone” and says that she won’t force him to go if it will hurt him, but she would really like it if he could go with her because she’s going to his family dinner either way.

She’s awful. Also “force him to go” wow. These two.

Tessa’s mind and heart are spinning (?) because she’s gone from yogurt establishment violence to in the car violence to now being calm again what a rollercoaster. Hardin is now stuck on the fact that she doesn’t want something to hurt him. He asks why she would care and his eyes are pleading but Tessa can’t say the words because he will use them against her. I guess she’s referring to words like “because I love you!” and not “because I’m not a monster?” She can’t say she loves him or cares about him because then she will because like those annoying girls, “the kind of girls who Steph” told her about. The kind of girls who have feelings, I guess. Wow. Awful. Hate those girls. (S: Looks down at #TeamFeels shirt awkwardly…)

Finally, Tessa just says that she cares about how Hardin feels. The moment is interrupted by her phone ringing. It’s Noah. You ‘member Noah. ‘Member? Tessa ignores the call obviously and that makes Hardin smile. This is a great time for her to slide in and ask if he’s going to his family dinner with her. He says no, still, because he’s got plans any way. Tessa says she doesn’t even want to know if those plans are with Molly (*fist shake*) so I’m sure she’ll ask about it in approximately one paragraph. Tessa asks if he’ll be mad if he goes to his family dinner without him. She admits that it’s a little weird, but Landon is her friend and she was invited. Hardin says he’s always mad at her, but he says it with a smile so it’s a big a joke. She jokes back that she’s always mad at him too! Ha ha ha! So much anger!


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Mari: They get going again and Tessa says that argument blew over more quickly than she expected. Some how that leads her to thinking that Hardin is more used to constant conflict than she is. She prefers they spend time together not fighting. She prefers it, but she is obviously still willing to spend together fighting.

Oh, hey, it’s a new paragraph so it’s time for Tessa to ask Hardin about his plans tonight. Hardin asks why she wants to know and these two are such little shits. Tessa has to be like, “uh, you mentioned plans so I’m asking?” before we even get to the stupid fucking answer, which is that there is another party that night. They have parties every Friday and Saturday. Tessa is #deep so she asks if it doesn’t get old doing the same thing every weekend with the same drunk people. Hardin says it does but they are in college and he’s in a fraternity. “What else is there to do?” Tessa suggests not cleaning up after drunk people and Hardin says he just hasn’t found anything better to do with his time.

Samantha: *eyebrow waggle, shoulder nudge* I bet he has now, huh? Geddit?

Mari: Congrats to Tessa if she eventually becomes the better than cleaning up after drunk people thing to do with his time.

The rest of the drive is quiet. It would be a perfect place to end the chapter according to Todd logic, but the chapter gods have looked down upon me this week and it goes on. (S: Yeah, damn, this shit is long.)

Tessa walks alone to her dorm room and she’s flustered and emotional. She gives a revisionist history of how much fun they had and how they mostly got along for the duration and wonders why she can’t have a great time like that with someone who actually likes her, like Noah. If you’ll recall, Noah even sucks at watching movies. You ‘member.

When Tessa gets back to the room, she’s surprised to find Steph there. I feel like we always get told she’s not there…. except all the times she is. I feel like we get told she’s there (surprise!) more often than not. Tessa tells Steph about not finding a car, but leaves Hardin’s involvement out of it. Except that we just spend a single page with no Hardin so, whatdya know. Knock knock knock. It’s Hardin!

Steph is rude to him, on account of last she heard he sucked. Tessa outs herself by asking if she left something in his car. Steph GASPS and I’m gonna say that “revelation” is not a good enough reason to gasp. (S: We need a new tag around these parts.) Hardin is actually here to offer Tessa a ride to his family dinner tonight since she didn’t buy a car. Tessa is so shocked by the offer (and distracted by him playing with his lip ring) that she doesn’t answer for a bit. But then she says yes, of course. They smile at each other and he says he’ll be back at six-thirty.

Once he’s gone, Steph asks what the heck that was. Tessa doesn’t know because that was so! confusing! I’m not sure what part of his behavior is still confusing to her. He might have highs and lows, but they are pretty consistent and also he’s offered to give her rides a million times now. Steph is just here to say what a big! deal! it is that Hardin came here and seemed nervous! Tessa tells her the whole real story of movies and car shopping, mostly so Steph can say what a big! deal! it is that Hardin spent the night. He has nightmares (like Christian Grey) and doesn’t like anyone sleep with him (like Christian Grey). (S: I wonder if he’s into tampons…) Steph asks what Tessa’s done to him and she thinks for another paragraph about how surely he couldn’t possibly like her! And surely he is just faking it!

Much like Bella often did with Jessica, Tessa changes the subject and lets Steph talk without actually listening to her. She talks for an hour and a half, apparently, and then it’s time for hair and makeup. Another hair and makeup scene. Tessa decides on her maroon dress because she thinks it’s appropriate for a family dinner:

Steph does convince her to wear lace tights and high heels with it so I hope everyone is wearing jeans at this family dinner. Hardin shows up as scheduled and tells her she looks nice. Steph jokingly tells them to have fun and they flip each other off.

We end the chapter just before the next car ride because we all know how important car rides are. (S: I’m doing car rides wrong IRL.)


Next time on After: A car ride in Chapter 46.


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.






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  • Sarah

    This asshole is dangerous and needs anger management, therapy, a restraining order, and probably medication. He’s not a romantic hero, he’s well on his way to being Tessa’s murderer.

    How is this seen as romantic? HOW? *thuds head on desk*

    • Samantha

      *looks over at you from where my had is also on my desk* hey.

      • Sarah

        *holds out a rocks glass, head still on desk* Drink?

  • Mae

    “But part of me insists that Hardin needs to understand that I will not be yelled at; that is one redeeming quality I give my mother credit for. She showed me exactly how not to be treated by a man.”
    Tessa seems to think that if she yells back, she’s showing strength and being a stand-up feminist or some such. Anyone can show anger back, even a scared child. If mom had truly instilled in Tessa how not to be treated by a man, this book series wouldn’t exist because she would have told Hardin to GTFO in chapter 2.

    “that bubble of hope grows again at Hardin’s jealousy. I know his feelings are more of a competition thing than actual concern over my being with him, but it still makes my stomach flutter.”
    I just…I can’t. I will focus on the fact that Tessa just claimed mom taught her how to not be treated by a man and THEN gets flutters when he treats her like property. Never mind, that irony doesn’t help the rage. Also, I HATE that she uses Zed as a pawn to make Hardin jealous which then proves his feelings to her. That’s just all kinds of toxic.

    “wonders why she can’t have a great time like that with someone who actually likes her”
    Uh, has she tried? Wouldn’t it make sense to ask Noah if he’s willing to try something a little out of the box together rather than settling on the douchebag who lives outside the box? I also love that she treats this like it’s some conundrum. As if the rest of us don’t routinely have fun with people who like us. Somehow, we’ve managed this little miracle.

    • Alicia

      Your first point: I said a similar thing in my post. Tessa only thinks about her mom’s words, she doesn’t act upon them, clearly because she has let Hardin treat her like shit for most of the book so far. Yelling at someone does not make you strong. Her and Hardin have constant screaming matches that usually end in sexy times. Most mature adults may be angry at each other then when they’ve calmed down will calmly discuss their problems. Tessa never talks about her and Hardin’s problems to him, because 1) she’s scared she’ll make him angry, and 2) they interrupt potential talks with sexy times. This is why neither of them change or grow by the end, as so many fans claim they do.

      It’s funny that Tessa thinks she’s mature and stuff, then uses Zed as a pawn to make Hardin jealous, THEN thinks that despite all of what had just happened, she has butterflies at the fact that Hardin might be jealous if she’s hanging with another man. Ughhhh. This is all kinds of toxic and horrible. Also, if Hardin were to suggest that he was going to shack up with Molly the slut, imagine how whiny Tessa would be? It’s okay for Tessa to use Zed to make Hardin jealous (whooo girl power!!!@!~~) but if Hardin were to use Molly to make Tessa jealous, he’d be an asshole towards Tessa.

      She literally hasn’t even tried anything outside of the box with Noah. Yet she’s willing to do so with Hardin. She’s bored with Noah because Noah wants to wait until marriage, while Hardin clearly doesn’t care, and gets her rocks off. Usually if you mistake lust for love, as a lot of people sadly do, it never turns out well for you. You might think that if the person you’re sexually active with shows you a bit of extra decency and attention, it’s mistaken for them having more feelings for you. This is what’s happening here and it’s toxic. Tessa and Steph had a whole conversation about how Hardin totally is into Tessa simply because she had gotten a drive with him, and he NEVER gives rides to anyone else. Ugh. It bothers me.

  • Joy

    I’m estranged from my mother, and I would be suuuuuuuuper upset if my partner or “friend” accepted a dinner invitation on my behalf.

    They are both just so damn awful. It’s so great that Tessa has decided not to put up with abuse from a man, except when she does. :/

  • Oh hey look, one more for Rage-Inducing Trope Bingo!
    Seriously, I hate it in TV shows and movies and now apparently books when a character tries to force estranged relatives to “just spend some time together,” particularly when they don’t know the whole story. That’s not an okay judgment to make for someone, but so many storylines try to make it all cutesy and sweet like “I was just trying to help! You need to be close with your dad/mom/sibling/evil family pet.” Tessa could, y’know, talk to her supposed friend about it if she thinks this is (still, consistently) negatively affecting him, but that would require prioritizing the actual feelings of another person over her vision of a Good Family.
    And since Hardin responds with physical intimidation and violence, I just can’t decide who I hate more!

  • Rosasusannah

    Well, car rides really can be important. I often have deep, meaningful conversations with my mom when we’re driving somewhere. Not that anyone would read about them since she is actually an amazing mom and not an abusive guy. ;_;

    • Samantha

      Yeah, this true, I have had some as well. I think I was mostly fed up with how absolutely everything has to be a Big Deal, nothing is ever just a car ride or just a shower.

  • Suzy

    “I wonder if he’s into tampons?”
    You shouldn’t have asked that question, because there is an answer. At least the Wattpad version has one. I can’t bring myself to read the books. I have my sanity to think about.

    • Samantha

      Oh nooooooooo, I was joking!

  • The Bad Slayer

    Am I the only lady rage monster that would deck him? I mean, admittedly I have a lot of inner rage that I continue to work to keep down but holy christ on a cracker. If my husband ever, EVER, thought he could scream in my face he’d be eating his own teeth for dinner.

  • The Bad Slayer

    Also, so glad the assholes found each other. Save decent people from their bullshit.

  • Blinvy .

    We are 45 chapters into this so called book, nothing has happened, there is no plot to be seen and yet, we are not even halfway through. That was the most infuriating thing about this thing. I just read out of curiosity but my brain started to glaze over and I just kept clicking and going, WHEN DOES THIS THING END!!!!???? I made it to chapter 100 and then noped out when I realized she’d written two more parts to this series and was like, 200 more chapters of nothing?

  • Alicia

    Ironic that he’s screaming “What the fuck was that” at Tessa after he was the one who flipped a chair over. All she did was accept a dinner invite from his father. While this might piss him off, and was a bitchy move of her, it’s no excuse to violently act out in public. Surely people are paying attention, and SURELY one of them would be alarmed enough at this public disturbance to call the police, right? Or police are non-existent in these novels, so never mind. You would think one of the yogurt people would come over and ask Tessa if she was okay after her date freaked out in public. Maybe they were too scared of Hardin, too.

    It’s also extremely rude of Tessa to assume what is going on in Hardin’s relationship with his father, without knowing ANYTHING about it, seeing as he hasn’t mentioned it before, except that his father was a drunk at some point. I can see why Hardin would be mad. It doesn’t excuse his public outburst. But as you said, Tessa still has her own relationships that she fucked up, why is she meddling in Hardin’s when she barely knows much about his personal life?

    I can’t imagine someone yelling in public so loudly that the veins in their neck bulge, and no one around them calling the police. Also, I haven’t actually had anyone sceam in my face, but I’ve seen people angry, but the veins in their neck never bulged. Hardin must be super-duper angry. Of course dumb Tessa only tells him to stop swearing but not to stop yelling. Heaven forbid innocent children’s ears hear the “f” word. While I don’t agree with swearing like a sailor around kids, surely most parents curse once in a while. I think innocent children shouldn’t be witnessing Hardin’s violent outburst towards Tessa. But you know, priorities.

    If you’re scared that your date may drive off without you if they get mad – why are you with them? Why don’t you have a backup plan? I know that even if my fiance ever got mad at me in public (which he hasn’t) he wouldn’t just leave me standing there. I trust him enough not to do that. If he did, I’d just call a taxi or go to the nearest bus station.

    Again, Tessa is aware of men like Hardin, because her father WAS one. WHY is she constantly excusing Hardin’s bad and rude behaviour? Obviously her mother didn’t drill it into her head enough, because she’s still chasing Hardin, who is basically exactly like her father was. I am also concerned about Anna Todd’s brain functions. She clearly doesn’t know what it’s like to be in an abusive relationship, because she married her high school sweetheart when they were young and I think he was her first boyfriend. She’s obviously easily influenced by books such as Twilight and 50 Shades, so I think that’s where she got her mentality and ideas to write this from as this is basically a mash up of the two.

    Tessa basically says she will mind her own business, before declaring that she is still going to dinner with his family whether he goes or not. Right, Tessa. Then, as smart as she is, she threatens to bring Zed into it. Now she’s pushing him, she knows he hates Zed, but says this anyway. Does she want to put herself in more danger? Apparently so.

    UGH. More of this glorifying his fucking abuse. “Despite all of his mistreatment towards me, I still feel butterflies at the thought he MIGHT be jealous of me hanging with another man”. Tessa was literally just saying that her mom taught her not to let a man treat her badly, but WHY is being yelled at in public and nearly killed in his car a swoon-worthy quality of a potential love interest? I think I’m gonna be sick.

    Okay, now Tessa’s turned the tables on him and is emotionally manipulating him by saying she’s going to ask Zed. Then telling saying she wouldn’t actually ask Zed, and then saying she won’t force Hardin to go, and that she IS GOING DAMMIT whether he wants her to or not. Why oh why can a fight between these two never be resolved in grown-up actions?

    It seems like whenever she talks to him, Hardin hears only one thing she says and ignores the rest, and it’s usually something about her feelings for him. That’s not how you resolve conflict. He basically expects her to tell him she loves him, but at least she doesn’t. She still says she cares for him which whatever, I don’t know why she even cares for him at all. And OF COURSE she ignores the phone call from Noah. Probably if she wasn’t with Hardin, she would have answered that phone call. Noah’s only 2nd on her list now. He’d better give it up.

    Hahaha, it’s so funny that they are joking about being angry with each other, after literally JUST being angry with each other. Of course she mentions that the fight blew over more quickly than normal, which is proof that he’s changed, right guys? And then says how she prefers spending time with him when they don’t fight, yet she is still willing to be around him while he is being violent and scary towards her. Lovely.

    Todd really has fluctuating chapter lengths in this series. One chapter could be 3 pages long, the next one 7+ pages. I usually try to keep most of my chapters around 3000 words, but you know, clearly Anna Todd hasn’t heard of the word “consistency”. Sometimes I may have a chapter that is a page or two longer, but it’s not all through the book.

    Poor Noah, he’s just SO nice, but SOOO boring. God, who’d wanna be with a nice, caring guy like him? Definitely not Tessa. Since she got a taste of bad boy Hardin, cuddling with her during movies and such, she thinks bad boys are all the rage. Then cries when he hurts her and wonders why he keeps acting out. Oh gee I dunno.

    Of course, we had to have another Hardin appearance for more fake tension. Steph’s surprised that Tessa was riding in Hardin’s car with him? If Hardin was a normal, decent human being, him giving Tessa a ride wouldn’t be such a shock. Tessa being thown off by Hardin offering her a drive to his parent’s place is again, more testament of how horrible Hardin is to her most of the time. The few times he’s decent, it’s a HUGE DEAL and Tessa hangs on to him for those few times, I guess? Also Steph has to confirm for her that Hardin is so horrible that the few times he’s decent really are a big deal. Omg it’s SO special that Hardin (who has nightmares) let Tessa sleep with him. Wow, he really must like her more than the slutty girls he sleeps with usually.

    Now that the focus is off Tessa for a minute, we have to skip through Steph talking for an hour and a half (from which we could have learned more details about her, but HEY, who cares about the secondary characters?), and now we have to go into detail for Tessa’s makeup scene once again. And lol, sure she could wear a casual dress for a family dinner, but if her maroon dress is anything like the picture you showed (which is basically how she described it), that’s a bit too formal, even with tights and heels. Oh well, heaven forbid she dresses like a slut at a family dinner that she invited herself to.

  • The_v_from_the_sub_B

    Why does this book seem to suck harder than Twilight???

  • Brooke

    These characters and that dress are still THE WORST.

  • TayciBear

    Butterflies in your stomach is a fight or flight reflex so her body is yelling at her to run or scratch his eyes out.

  • Alicia

    “Tessa walks alone to her dorm room and she’s flustered and emotional. She gives a revisionist history of how much fun they had and how they mostly got along for the duration and wonders why she can’t have a great time like that with someone who actually likes her, like Noah. If you’ll recall, Noah even sucks at watching movies. You ‘member.”

    Has she literally forgotten that Hardin kicked a chair across the yogurt establishment, yelled at and embarrassed her in public after she accepted a dinner invite despite Hardin obviously being uncomfortable? She then continued to attempt to manipulate him into going. She calls that “fun” just because he was a decent person “most of the time” they were together up until that, I guess?

    I often question Anna Todd’s train of thought where she wrote scenes like this and continued to attempt to make Hardin sound “decent”, and thought “I bet my fans will still like him after he acts like this because I’ll use something sad or unexpected (such as him being nice for a second) to distract people from his being a jerk and people will feel sorry for him, aww my poor sensitive Hardy”. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere in public with someone who embarrassed me like that again, knowing how high risk they are of acting out violently, and I certainly wouldn’t find them endearing nor would I feel butterflies as they were yelling in my face in front of people. But maybe I think differently than Anna Todd does.