After Chapter 47 – The boo-boo on his soul.

Previously: Family dinner revealed that Papa Hardin is the Chancellor.

Marines: Tessa follows Hardin out after his outburst, for several reasons: 1- She’d rather be with angry Hardin than his awkward family, I guess; 2- It’s kind of her fault they are here; 3- She knows how awkward it would be if Hardin suddenly decided to hang out with her mom.

Um, GIRL. Don’t you think you should’ve thought of that at some point before you invited yourself to family dinner even after Hardin said he didn’t want to be here? Now she wants to be all reasonable like, “this  must be hard on him!” as justification for why she’s running after Hardin after he hand a toddler meltdown at the dinner table? Puh-lease.

Samantha: It’s like she’s written to only have a brain and rational thoughts when Anna Todd no longer needs help moving her “plot” along.

Mari: Tessa approaches Hardin and he tells her to leave him alone and go back inside, where she fits in with his family’s “prudish and boring personalities.”

“Ouch! Why am I here again? Oh, yeah, that’s right: to be Hardin’s punching bag.” 

Samantha: The way he grabs and threatens her this can be both literal and metaphorical.


Tessa shouts back that fine she will leave, and she doesn’t know why she can’t just stop trying with him. Hardin replies that she can’t take a hint. Tessa says the hint is well-taken, but then she just sands there and doesn’t leave. The hint has literally thrown a chair in a yogurt establishment and she called that day nice so. It’s really uncomfortable to read about this because I want Tessa to take the hint too, but it also feels wrong to put the onus on her when Hardin could also not be a violent jerk.

Hardin laughs at Tessa’s weak defense. She yells some more about how he doesn’t deserve any more of her time (but she stays there) and he doesn’t deserve for her to even speak to him (but she keeps speaking to him) and he doesn’t deserve dinner with nice people because he just ruins it. Tessa is crying through all of this. Hardin steps closer to her and she backs away so fast, she trips. This would normally be the point when I point out that totally non-romantic reaction (lather, rinse, repeat), but her step away doesn’t really jive with her perpetual being withing stepping-distance of him, if you know what I mean. (S: Sadly, I do.)

This time, when Tessa looks at Hardin, he looks less murder-y and more exhausted, because being murder-y is tiring, I guess. Tessa turns away from him and he grabs her and pulls him into her chest. Because when she’s walking toward him, he yells and insults her. But when she’s walking away, he grabs her and pulls her closer.

Faster than I could have imagined, he snakes his fingers around my wrist and pulls me to his chest. I lean into him without hesitation, wanting to touch him so badly. But I know better: I can hear the warning in the thump of my heart, rapid beneath my chest. I wonder if Hardin can hear it, too, or feel the pounding of my pulse under his grip.  His eyes are full of anger and I know mine mirror his.” 

What the mess is that? Horny body, angry eyes, frightened heart. I kind of want to puke.

Samantha: And as always the implication that he’s just a jerk because he’s hurting so much inside. This book should come with vomit bags, like on planes. It’s only fair.

Mari: Which, wow, I wrote that before reading the next line and it’s a kiss. It fits with Todd’s entire brand that just when we’ve reached max nausea, she thinks it’s time for a kiss. He kisses with so much force, it’s “almost painful.” Tessa gets lost in the kiss mixed with the saltiness of her own tears. Tears she cried, if you’ll recall just moments ago, after Hardin was insulting her. Delicious. (S: It’s really important to watch your sodium intake, guys.)

Their kissing gets all the way to legs parted territory (woah-ho-ho!) but then Landon walks out and interrupts. He’s shocked! Shocked! Firstly, because he thought they hated each other. Same, bro. Secondly, because Tessa has a boyfriend and he didn’t think she was that kind of girl. Not same, bro. Unfortunately, I have the disadvantage of being privy to her thoughts, so I know exactly what “kind of girl” she is. Namely, horrible.

To be honest, though, I’m not really buying Landon’s shock? She spent the night recently and he’s seen them sneak off into corners and crap like that before. I guess, in his defense, their visible hate of each other would make things rather confusing.

Landon dads that he doesn’t know what to think before he leaves. “Then, like something out of a movie, a clash of thunder rolls through the air.” Dramatic, much? Hardin comments on the oncoming storm and Tessa is like, “PFFT. FORGET THE WONDERS OF NATURE. SOMEONE JUST CAUGHT US KISSING.” Hardin thinks Landon will be okay.

Even though their kissy times were interrupted, Hardin is already in a much better mood! See, he’s awful and violent and has temper tantrums, but it’s okay because Tessa can kiss him and make him feel better. (S: Tessa kissed the boo boo on his soul and now he’s aaaalll better.) They agree to go back inside and finish dinner. Tessa comments on his improved mood and he confesses that he doesn’t understand it either.

Tessa and Hardin walk into the house holding hands. Landon sees it, but Tessa likes holding hands so much she doesn’t want to pull away. When they rejoin the table, Hardin even apologizes for his outburst. Hot damn, ladies. Look how well we can fix abusive men with our love! Karen takes it all in stride and accepts the apology. Tessa keeps holding Hardin’s hand and says that for once she’s not overthinking things, like why she’s holding Hardin’s hand when she is dating Noah. We can at least be thankful for that, seeing as how that’s been the plot of the last 46 chapters and yet we’ve gotten nowhere.

The small talk continues as Papa Hardin (Ken) talks about moving to the states and how much he likes it here. He asks about Tessa’s plans for after college and she says she’s moving to Seattle to work for a publishing company. Wow, that sounds like… OH YEAH, THIS IS SHITTY FANFIC OF A SHITTY FANFIC OF A SHITTY BOOK.

We take such long breaks around here that sometimes I forget. (Sorry– this last one was because I made an event and went through a hurricane…)


Mari: Two parts: thank you.

Ken offers to reach out to a contact at a publishing house to get Tessa an internship because she seems like a bright young woman. I don’t know. It seems like a payoff for getting Hardin through like 80% of a family dinner, but whatever.


Next time on After: Tessa has chats with the step-mom in Chapter 48.


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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  • AmandaOoooh

    Are they… holding hands while eating dinner…?

    • YES. I didn’t even mention the bit where Tessa explains how awkward it is to eat dinner while holding hands, but they gotta do it because this is middle school and holding hands 4eva.

      • AmandaOoooh

        Well Anna Todd is in middle school, after all. Surely this drivel wasn’t written by an adult. …right?

      • Blinvy .

        I remember reading that part! I also remember thinking, “well, if it’s so damn awkward, why the hell are you still holding hands then?” Characters don’t have to be attached at the hip to show a connection. Anna Todd seems incredibly young, I mean she is but like she seems to still be holding onto her early teen mentality, despite being in her mid-twenties, I think?

        • David Sagneri

          This actually caused me to look her up. I’ve been assuming she’s was middle-aged ala Meyers/James. Needed to check my premises.

        • AmandaOoooh

          Hand holding and a shared love of misinterpreting classic novels = true love

          • Alicia

            You summed up Twilight and After perfectly.

      • David Sagneri

        This makes my eye twitch.

  • Arian_foe

    Yuck! I sincerely don’t understand the appeal and obsession with jerks and assholes in these books (Edward, Christian Grey, Hardin), I’m on team NOPE NOPE NOPE when it comes to abusive tools like these. Jeez, why can’t people on books be more like Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark?? (#TeamPeeta)
    I admire your comminent to this rubbish for the internet and the fun we readers have rading you #snarkLadiesFTW

  • The Bad Slayer

    Mari, missed you. Was worried but felt like it would be weird to tweet at you about it. Like, I’m not a weirdo stranger but I feel…positively about you because I enjoy your recaps so. I don’t think I helped my not a weirdo case but glad you’re okay and moving on….

    Holy hell. Clearly he was calmed because he tasted the tears of his next victim. It had nothing to do with the kids. It was the fear, the FEAR!

    • The Bad Slayer

      *kiss it had nothing to do with the kiss.

  • Brooke

    We should get one of those abusive relationship checklists and see how many warning signs Hardin displays.

    Hope you’re doing okay post-hurricane, Mari! <3

    • The Bad Slayer

      Pretty sure it’s all of them.

  • Alicia

    Yay, you’re back 🙂 Now I can continue my ranting. lol

    Tessa’s wondering why she can’t stop trying with Hardin because it’s “true love”, remember? She loves him so much and thinks there’s a good person somewhere inside of him so she doesn’t want to stop trying to fix him. It’s such dedication and much romance, not at all an abusive “relationship” or whatever, born out of infidelity on her part. At this point, are they even officially together? I’m confused, I must have missed the part where he got down on one knee in public to ask her to be his girlfriend.

    Heh, okay, sometimes it’s hot to be kissed after an argument. But in this case, Hardin totally embarrassed her in front of his family (at the family dinner she invited herself to in the first place so she had no business being there at all anyway), flipping out at the dinner table over nothing. Plus they aren’t even finished the argument and haven’t talked like adults about anything, nor are they willing to compromise. They are still mad at each other. There’s fury and anger in both of their eyes, or whatever, and he’s basically trying to manipu-kiss her. This is not hot. This is gross and manipulation.

    Anna Todd sure likes to repeat scenes. Hardin flips out at her while they are at the yogurt establishment, in front of people, then proceeds to insult her outside after she follows him out. He’s freaking out because he doesn’t want Tessa getting involved with his awkward family issues, which is understandable, since they aren’t even in a steady relationship. Next, Hardin flips out at the dinner table while they are at dinner with his family, and Tessa again follows him outside so they can yell at each other some more. This time he’s freaking out because his father revealed he’s the chancellor of the school. BUT, the catch is, that in between all this drama, the one SHOCKING thing that Hardin did was to go to his family’s place for dinner after all, because GASP, he NEVER goes there because he hates his family and now that Tessa’s going, he has decided to go. Forget all his tantrums, you guys. He’s CHANGING. Wow, such progress. Tessa is even making him spend time with the family he hates. This means she’s changing him. Also, Todd recycling her own scenes is writer’s gold.

    Now Landon’s caught them kissing, and of course he will be okay with whatever Tessa does, because he’s only there to be Tessa’s supporter 100% of the time. Even if she’s cheating on her boyfriend. If he were to try and actually, you know, be a good friend rather than an enabler, Tessa would try to make him into a “bad” friend if he tells her that Hardin isn’t good for her.

    See, you guys, Hardin held her hand in front of his family, and he’s in a better mood because making out with her made things all better. And now Hardin’s family will praise her for how much she’s changed their son (and step-son) because of her love and everything. How can I predict this, you ask? *coughTwilightcough50Shadescoughplagiarism* I don’t know how Hardin’s father can tell that Tessa seems like a bright young woman for talking to her all of five minutes. Also, “bright young woman” sounds familiar. Remember 50 Shades, everyone else would tell us how Ana was a bright young woman and we’d never see it from her point of view? This is literally the same treatment.

    Hurray for fanfiction plagiarism making millions 🙂 -sobs-

  • David Sagneri

    So is Twilight the true progenitor of the horrors of Hardin and Christian fucking Grey or is there a proto-Twilight lurking in the depths?

    • Karen

      I think proto-Twilight was a lot of terrible old-school romance novels and/or Wuthering Heights. But at least Heathcliff and Cathy’s relationship is supposed to be fucked up.

      • Sarah

        Unsurprising factoid: when Wuthering Heights was published under a male pseudonym it was considered a horror novel. It only became viewed as a romance when it was published under Emily Bronte’s real name.

    • Em

      I just watched the TV show Roswell recently and some of the story details and plot points reminded me a lot of what I’ve read about Twilight (from sites like this one). There were enough similarities that I totally think Twilight was a rip off of Roswell. It was kind of creepy. I definitely don’t think the characters on that show compare in terms of awfulness to the characters in these books, but it seems like these authors get inspired by other characters at their worst moments and use that as the basis for their own characters at their best. Each reiteration manages to take the absolute worst of the source material and amplifies it.

  • Joy

    Mari! Glad you’re okay!
    An internship at a publishing company where she works for Hardin? *eyeroll*

  • Mae

    I’m so tired of the cycle: insulting, yelling, crying, grabbing, kissing, repeat ad nauseum.

    “To be honest, though, I’m not really buying Landon’s shock?”
    This is part of Todd’s pattern. When Tessa does something a Good Girl wouldn’t do, someone has to reinforce that she’s a Good Girl. So, Landon is shocked to his core that she’s kissing a spiteful womanizer behind her boyfriend’s back. This is meant to show us that the person who knows her so well (he doesn’t really but run with this for a sec) still sees the goodness in her. Ergo, we should too. A similar pattern shows up in Laurell K Hamilton books and there are enough little similarities that it seems Todd is a fan.

    “Tessa comments on his improved mood and he confesses that he doesn’t understand it either.”
    Bullshit. He got what he wanted tonight – insult his family, insult Tessa, and still get her to give in to his sexual advances. Of course
    his mood is improved. We’re all happier when we get what we want.

    I don’t know what annoys me more – Ana Steele getting a publishing gig when she was an idiot but at least she interviewed for it on her own steam. Or Tessa getting a publishing gig handed to her as a payoff for getting her horrible boyfriend to show common decency to his family.

    • Alicia

      Yep, it makes sense. Whenever Saint Tessa does something bad or crazy (such as cheating on her boyfriend), there has to be someone who is there to point out that she is still a good girl on the inside and that everyone makes “mistakes” so everything she does is instantly forgiven. I’m pretty sure that all Landon will say is, “Oh just be careful, Hardin can be cruel” and Tessa is like “yeah” and Landon is like “but he acts different with you so you being around is good for him” or something to that extent but then it’s forgotten. That may be how it pans out if I remember right.

      Hardin did get what he wanted. He mumbled a half-assed apology, which I guess, according to his family and Tessa is better than no apology at all, and still got to have Tessa. Look, he apologized sort of, he’s already improving!! -sarcasm-

      Yeah, at least Ana got the publishing deal by herself up until Christian bought the company and forced her to do things she didn’t want to like change her last name at work to his (he even showed up to her office to harass her for it) and then made a list of people she can’t see without talking to her about it first. So now Christian has controlled everything in Ana’s life, including where she works, just like Hardin now wants to control where Tessa works.

  • Anonyme

    Tess is getting a job at a publishing house? Did Anna Todd not even TRY to not make this look like a pathetic fanfiction based on another pathetic fanfiction?