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 Things, recapping 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.
HE WENT THROUGH HER PHONE AND DELETED THE MESSAGES.
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.
3- THIS IS NOT THE BASIS OF A ROMANCE. IMAGINE HAVING SOMEONE ASK YOU OUT WITH WORDS THAT INCLUDE I’M CRUEL ALL THE TIME. THE ANSWER IS NO, FOREVER. THAT IS THE ONLY RIGHT ANSWER.
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.