After Chapter 51 – Doors do not stop Hardins

Previously: Tessa spends the night, eats breakfast and gets kicked out.

Marines: We are once again subjected to an awkward car ride because they are one again fighting. I just finished a binge of season 1 of Stranger Thingsrecapping about an episode a day, and I’m kind of bummed about coming back to shitty stories. Don’t get me wrong– I love recapping, but I’m so ANGRY at this damn story for being the same shit OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

Samantha: I waited days to put in these comments and did the Stranger Things season 2 episode first. I feel you.

Mari: Well, here we go:

Hardin asks Tessa if she’s mad and she lies, saying she isn’t. Hardin tells her not to act like a child, and Tessa snaps that she couldn’t care less if Hardin wants to drop her off so he can go hook up with Molly. Internally, Tessa thinks about how much she hates the idea of Hardin and Molly together, but then attributes all of those negative feelings toward Molly. Not because she likes Hardin, or because Hardin is leading her on, or anything like that, but because UGH, MOLLY, AM I RIGHT. “What is it about her, anyway? Her pink hair? Her tattoos?” Your internalized misogyny? IDK, just a guess. (S: A sold, solid guess.)

Hardin says it isn’t like that. Tessa reminds him that he jumped up to answer the phone in the middle of YOU KNOW (if she won’t say it, I won’t). Tessa regrets bringing this up because she doesn’t want to fight with Hardin. Again. Especially because she doesn’t know when she’ll see Hardin again, now that he’s dropped Literature. Because not seeing the guy who she thinks stopped her mid-blow job to pick up another girl’s phone call is really a tragedy.

Tessa “finally admits to him and herself” that she knew this– him being decent toward her– wouldn’t last anyway. Hardin asks if this means she’s going to avoid him for another week. Not that it matters, because “we both know that by this weekend, you’ll be back in my bed.” Tessa is like EX-CUSE ME and then jumps out of the car and runs away. At one point, she says she drops one of Steph’s heels and I honestly though she meant that she lost a shoe and was like… hobble running away from Hardin. But I guess she had the shoes in her hands? It’s better my way. Just go with that.

Samantha: Headcanon very accepted.

Mari: So, Tessa hobble-runs all the way to her dorm room and slams the door closed, I guess not knowing that doors do not stop Hardins. And surprise! Noah is there waiting for her. (S: Hahahaha oh god, worst plot twist ever.) He immediately asks what’s wrong and where she’s been. And surprise! Hardin just busts into the room, sees Noah, but ignores him. Hardin tells Tessa that he didn’t mean what he just said. Noah realizes that he’s been waiting for Tessa all night, worried sick about her, sending her texts and leaving her voicemails, and she’s been with Hardin. Tessa turns toward Hardin because she immediately knows that Hardin went through her phone and deleted all those messages. WOOOOOW.



Image result for anger gif
Mari: And even as Tessa realizes this complete invasion of privacy and disrespect, she tells us that her heart is focusing on Hardin. OF COURSE.

She yell-asks how Hardin dared play these games with her, deleting messages from her boyfriend, while daring to answer calls from Molly. Noah grabs Tessa’s wrist, which make Hardin very angry, which makes Noah very angry. There’s some pushing and yelling, and Tessa tells Hardin to leave. He won’t, though, because he says that he’s done that too many times. Noah tells Tessa to make him leave, but she won’t, because she has to hear what he’ll say.

Hardin repeats that he didn’t mean what he said in the car. And the thing with picking up Molly’s phone in the middle of sex with Tessa? “It’s a habit, I guess.” That’s it. He just left Tessa high and dry because “it’s a habit… I GUESS.” I honestly thought Todd was gonna be like, “Molly has problems and she needs me” or something.

Man, I hate Hardin. (S: This asshole. My god.)

Hardin asks for another chance, even though he knows he’s gotten a lot of them. Just, like, one more. And he doesn’t only want to be friends. He wants more. Hardin’s words shock her! SHOCKING! WHO COULD’VE THOUGHT! Tessa reminds him that he said that she’s not his type, and he agrees. She isn’t his and he isn’t hers, which is why they are so good together. I’m not sure which part we’ve seen so far is supposed to be them being good together. 

Samantha: I have no snark right now, just genuine bafflement.

Mari: Oh, and hey, here’s Hardin to say as much and remind Tessa of when she said that he brings out the worst in her. His comeback, “well you bring out the best in me.

CAN YOU IMAGINE basing a whole romance on the idea that a woman has to endure the very worst, and having the worst brought out of them, because she brings out the best in the man. It is disgusting. And it only gets worse with his admission that “I know I am cruel at times… well, all the time, but that’s only because I don’t know how else to be.”

1- BULLSHIT. I’m sorry your parents got divorced and whatever other part of the backstory I’ve forgotten but YEAH, LIFE. LIFE IS TOUGH. We’ve all been through crap and we learn how not to be CRUEL.

2- If you can recognize the cruelty in your behavior, you can correct it.


Samantha: Are we sure that Anna Todd is real person? This feels like a bot wrote this, using all the shittiest romance tropes of forever.

Mari: Noah, who has just been standing there this whole time, asks what the hell is going on. Tessa tells him he should leave. Noah can’t believe this is happening, and we all can’t believe it took 51 chapters. Noah pleads his case, but Tessa’s mind is made up, so he leaves. (S: Are they actually finally broken up???) Hardin can’t believe that Tessa feels the same way about him, and even makes her say it out loud to be sure. And then they kiss and the chapter ends.

I don’t know. They just made it official so it seems like the chance of Sam getting a sexy chapter is high. (Watch it be a mini-chapter and then I get the sexy chapter…)

Samantha: I love you so much but I am gonna go sacrifice something to try and make that be true.

Mari: And can I blame you?

Next time on After: Bowling or sex in Chapter 52.


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 who now works in a library and a bookstore in order to really drive that point home. 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:

  • Karen


    That’s all I got. Sorry.

  • Joy

    The sighingest of sighs.
    I just

  • Alicia

    That’s all After is…the same shit over and over again. I have no idea how they plan on making a movie out of it.

    I find that a lot of times, women seem to be more angry at the OTHER woman than their cheating asshole boyfriend. Some women even take those guys back. Which, sorry, if my man was starting to show interest other than friendship to someone else, or if I caught him in an act, I would be more unforgiving to him. Call me cold, but that’s how I roll. If Tessa suspects Hardin of still sleeping with Molly…WHY IS SHE MAD AT MOLLY??

    Also, if Tessa’s hanging around someone she actually knows will only be decent with her for so long before something sets him off…WHY WOULD SHE WANT TO BE AROUND SOMEONE LIKE THAT?? People like that are clearly toxic and draining, as we see portrayed even after her and Hardin become “official”. The longer she hangs around Hardin, the more life drains out of her and the more blaming herself occurs when he gets moody for no reason.

    Of course Tessa has to hear what asshat has to say, even though Noah wants Hardin to leave. And she just figured out that Hardin went through her phone to delete her messages from Noah. That asshole doesn’t deserve another chance. Tessa should have called security on him if he wouldn’t leave by himself at this point. But no, HER HEART IS TUGGING TOWARDS HARDIN EVEN THOUGH HE’S A DICK. The fact that Tessa thinks her heart is focusing on Hardin despite that she’s rightfully upset with him, is another tool used by Todd to get the readers to think “aww how cute” and root for her to just go with her heart and dump Noah.

    I have not seen one thing that makes me think this couple is good for each other, despite Hardin’s claims that her not being his type is what makes them good together. Anyone who has somehow gotten this far and thought “aww how cute he doesn’t date but he wants to be more with her”, clearly hasn’t been through an abusive relationship or they just choose to ignore the asshat that Hardin really is because they want to read about the “sex”.

    I agree with all your points. Hardin recognizes that he can be cruel. HE CAN CHANGE IT BY HIMSELF IF HE WANTS TO. But he clearly just keeps using it as an excuse to continue to be an asshole of a person.

    First Tessa asks Hardin to leave, but then decides to let him stay to talk and he says a few “nice” words like “I want to be more with you” and she changes her mind and asks her boyfriend of 2 years to leave so she can go be with this guy that she’s only known to treat her so badly. Jumping from one guy to another is definitely a sign of a mentally stable person (not). I mean, it’s one thing if girls do like one night stands or whatever. I’m sorry but Tessa was with Noah for TWO YEARS. I don’t care if she was falling out of love with him ever since she met Hardin, it’s such a BITCH of her to dump Noah and be with Hardin literally one second later. She doesn’t care about hurting him. Noah didn’t do anything wrong to her, it wasn’t like he was abusive. She went from being in a nice, healthy, normal relationship TO AN ABUSIVE ONE.

    I get that some people fall out of love. It’s different when you fall out of love with someone and fall into infatuation with someone else, with no guilt or empathy for the person you hurt. That just makes you a jerk. Tessa judges Molly constantly, well Tessa’s probably a worse person than she tries to make Molly out to be.

    Even when I first read this, nothing about Tessa and Hardin’s relationship up until this point made me ever want to root for them. I knew nothing about it going into it, except I saw that #SuspendAnnaTodd hashtag on Twitter, which was a bunch of people angry that After was going to be published because they were afraid it would ruin Harry’s image, and that it should have stayed just a fanfiction. Which, they were right that it should have just stayed a fanfiction, but of course Todd just calls those people haters and ignores any constructive words coming her way. Much like Tessa.

    • Cherchez les Chats

      I always thought that maybe Anna Todd REALLY hated Harry Styles and ?Zayn?Zed?Zazu?, and this was her revenge fantasy to ruin their image. I stand by that interpretation.

  • Sarah

    Well. At least the rage is waking me up.


    Oh, wah-wah-wah, Hardin’s parents got divorced and he’s mad! So what? So was I when my parents got divorced, so are many people. IT’S NOT AN EXCUSE. For any of this!

    As for Ms. Judgmental Cheat-y McGee there, I just…I can’t. I wore out my rage on Hardin and the book’s existence. Goddammit.

  • Mae

    “He wants more.”
    Okay, Christian Grey.

    “If you can recognize the cruelty in your behavior, you can correct it.”
    Hell yes! This will come up more in later books, but the fact is that EVERYONE lets Hardin get away with cruelty without ever forcing him to deal with negative consequences (even when his actions are criminal). So, like a child, he keeps doing whatever he feels like without repercussions. It drives me insane. Everyone around him says they wish he was less cruel (or compliments the hell out of him for basic human decency because it’s so rare) yet none of them will give him consequences!

  • Kristen Tabor

    I just. It’s. I mean.

    Ok, let me start over:

    WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. THIS? This is what some women think is “Romance” and “love”??? NO. NO. This is awful, this is terrible, this is the worst ever. There are no redeemable qualities here– with the book, with the characters, with the plot, with the author.

    Twilight has a LOT to answer for if this is what it’s brainwashing people into wanting out of their love lives.

  • Blinvy .

    Anna Todd…I just…who hurt you? Are you ok? What damage happened in your life that makes you want to normalize this type of crap?
    The grossest part is that Tessa and we the reader NEVER get a satisfactory explanation of his behaviour. Like NEVER. He does something awful, she asks for an explanation and he’s just like “But I’m damaged, I didn’t mean it!” But like, WHY? No actual human would ever do these things to anyone, let alone someone they professed to love unless they were actual garbage. WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS, ANNA???