After Chapter 58 – I see you, villain.

Previously: Hardin was “nice” for two seconds and Tessa got an internship.

Samantha: We begin with Tessa kicking herself for thinking that Hardin would be different. I mean you’re not responsible for his behavior but LISTEN TO THIS VOICE AND GET OUT NOW.

She gets back to her room where Tristan is staring adoringly at Steph, a way that Hardin never looks at her. Steph asks if she’s coming to the party but Tessa says that she’s going to study. Okay okay, anyone want to bet on if it’s Steph or Hardin that gets her to go to this party?

Marines: We keep giving each other win-less bets, why are we like this? (The point is: Tessa is going to this party FOR SURE.)

Samantha: Tessa’s hurt that Hardin didn’t even mention it to her and worries that he just wants to spend alone time with Molly. Steph gives her a hug goodbye and heads out and I have no idea what time of day it is. Didn’t they just leave class? Whatever. (M: In the middle of all the other WTFery, I haven’t paid much attention to the time fuckery. Dammit, now I’m gonna notice…) Tessa calls her mom and dodges telling her breakup with Noah. She’s also surprised that Noah didn’t tattle everything already, and I am once again mystified by this weird relationship dynamic between her and her past boyfriend. Once off the phone she returns to obsessing over Hardin and Molly. She obviously can’t study so she calls Landon and asks about coming over for baking lessons with Karen. Landon thinks that’s great and tells her that he’s on his way to pick her up. Tessa notes that Hardin hasn’t called so I will take a moment and say that it’s good she’s going out and living life . I know too well the easy obsession of staring at a phone waiting for a text. Also, Hardin sucks so much.

She turns off her phone and puts it in a drawer and uh, maybe take it with you? In case there’s an emergency? I see the symbolism but, uh, my anxiety doesn’t care. (M: Same. You are away from your entire family, Tessa. Take the phone, ignore Hardin. YOU CAN DO IT.) Landon arrives and they jam out to The Fray. A much more pleasant ride than pretty much all the ones with Hardin.

Karen hooks Tessa up with an apron and a mixer and they get to baking. Landon wipes some batter off her cheek and flushes so, uh, is this more forced sexual tension? Why? If it’s not, what’s the point of it? Eventually Landon leaves for the Many Living Room of Sports Men so that Karen and Tessa can girl talk in the kitchen where they belong. Look, I also like to bake but damn if this doesn’t just read that way.

Once the cupcakes are done, Karen asks where Hardin is but doesn’t push when Tessa says he’s at his house. Landon comes in and they eat cupcakes, and Tessa does her bad friend thing and zones out to think about Hardin.

Mari: In the Snark Squad Discord, someone recently asked if we hate Tessa, Ana or Bella more and the consensus was that we hate whoever we are reading about right now. Tessa is the worst right now. 

Samantha: I want to save Tessa from all the internalized misogyny she’s carrying around.

Landon asks her what’s up and she confesses about Hardin not inviting her to the party. He tells her that she should go anyway and anyone who had Landon in the bet just won a dark horse victory! He drops her off at the party and now she’s at a frat party without her phone and I am NERVOUS.

Tessa notices some scantily dressed girls just standing in the yard and realizes her cardigan and bun aren’t really party attire. She soldiers on and drinks some alcohol and spots Molly sitting on Hardin’s lap with his hand on her thigh and I see fucking RED.

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I don’t know why this made me so so pissed off but I had to walk away. Probably some past relationship issues I haven’t dealt with but DAMN THIS IS SO SHITTY. I hate this guy so fucking much. HOW IS HE THE LOVE INTEREST. HE IS A VILLAIN.

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All I want is for Tessa to punch him in his stupid smug asshole face and then the book to end. I cannot believe how mad I am. I think I was fully expecting the Molly stuff to be misdirection so I was genuinely surprised.

Mari: That’s what makes it doubly upsetting: Slutty Molly is painted as BAD of course and WHAT DOES THIS HARDIN BEHAVIOR ADD TO THE STORY? He’s been MOONING over her nonstop and waking up from his nightmares to her and we’ve been BASHED OVER THE HEAD with his deep feelings for Tess and literally no other plot point for hundreds of pages. 

WHAT DOES THIS ADD OTHER THAN ANOTHER LAYER OF DICK BEHAVIOR? And for anyone hoping to defend Hardin on the basis of their lack of “official” relationship, JUST REMEMBER how Hardin acted around Noah, OKAY.

Samantha: Tessa doesn’t want to cry in front of everyone and doesn’t understand how she got here. Hardin moves his hand to Molly’s hip and squeezes. “My eyes are locked on the boy I was falling for while his eyes are locked on her.” Someone calls Tessa’s name and Hardin looks shocked while Molly leans farther into him. He opens his mouth to say something but doesn’t because he is a cowardly piece of shit. Zed appears in front of her and asks if she needs a drink. She looks down and realizes that she spilled her original drink all over the carpet. Maybe Hardin will slip in it and bang his head and then go into a coma for the rest of the book. Tessa decides that she’s going to put on a brave face and pretend like she isn’t bothered that Molly is still in Hardin’s lap. She accepts the drink.

Well. That was a chapter that got under my skin more than usual. Lesson learned, also expect Hardin to do the shittiest thing, misdirection is not really at play here. I hate him.

Mari: I hate everything. Also, sorry for the capslock but only a little.


Next time on After: Truth or dare AGAIN in Chapter 59.


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.

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.

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  • Alicia

    It really bothers me that Tessa KNOWS that Hardin is bad news and that he’s not going to change his ways, but she CHOOSES at this point to ignore her intuition. And, another thing that bothers me is when Tessa cringes at or looks away from any PDA from other couples, because Hardin isn’t like that with her. They’ve only been dating for a hot minute, but you’d think Hardin would grow some balls and at least hold hands with Tessa or kiss her in front of his friends. He did kiss her in front of Landon, but Landon’s his step brother so that doesn’t count.

    Yes, it’s good that Tessa decides to get out and live a life rather than staring at her phone waiting for Hardin’s text, BUT at the same time…she goes over to Hardin’s father’s house. So it’s still not technically getting away from Hardin. I’m sure that since the scene with her and Karen baking doesn’t involve Hardin, it’ll be glossed over and summed up in a sentence or two so that either Hardin can show up, or Tessa can obsess over him more.

    I also never understood why she ALWAYS turns off her phone. This time is she afraid of Hardin calling her, or him not calling her? I don’t understand the point, here.

    Of course, Tessa DOES end up at the party, which ends up with her being hurt and crying, yet again. The fact that he’s got Molly on his lap and his hand is on her thigh and then he’s putting his arm around her waist pisses me off, too. Him claiming he wants to be more with Tessa and then goes to a party without her to flirt with a girl he’s been fucking? Hardin is just a shit person. I guess Tessa was right when she thought that Hardin came to this party without inviting her because he wanted to spend alone time with Molly. I think it’s just some added drama because this was originally a fanfiction and the fans were probably getting bored with no “omg there’s another girl threatening Tessa’s relationship with Hardin” drama so Todd had to randomly add that in. Just to make Hardin into even more of a shit person than he already was. But, as we know, Tessa will somehow forgive him later when he’s in her pants and making her feel like no one else has made her feel.

    When Tessa claims Hardin was the boy she was falling for, I still don’t see how. He’s literally shown no good qualities about himself to her, except he was nice to her a few times. But most of the time he’s hurt her or pissed her off. Or been pissed off with her for stupid reasons. I STILL don’t see how he is the love interest.

  • The Bad Slayer

    Oh, yay! It’s time for the, ‘I’m going to flirt with someone else to make my SO jealous’ portion of this shit show. Because that *always* works out so well.


  • Jamie Miller

    I know you ladies said that you hate who you’re reading the most, but aren’t they collectively the same person? Ana is the ‘mommy porn’ fan fiction version of Bella, and Tessa is the knockoff crappy fan fiction version of Ana. So they are all Bella… Why am I thinking about this??? I am so sorry.

    • Joy

      It’s true, though.

    • We also arrived at this conclusion on the Discord. I think I said that first, that they were just all essentially the same character. But then we realized that the most present and in our face iteration was indeed the one we hated the most at that moment.

  • Kimberly

    This makes my stomach hurt. Even just recaps are making me anxious. They both suck so much, I should say they’re perfect for each other, but they’re both so awful they should be isolated from everything, lest it spread!

    • The next couple of chapters really made me upset with the terribleness of these two characters and the joint terribleness of their relationship. I really do not understand the appeal here. I know we say that a lot, but truly, their relationship is the kind that GIVES STOMACHACHES.

      • Kimberly

        I fear for the future of humanity. When these two jackasses and Christian Grey are what people love we’re all doomed.

  • Mae

    “She’s also surprised that Noah didn’t tattle everything already, and I am once again mystified by this weird relationship dynamic between her and her past boyfriend.”
    Same here. I had a great relationship with my high school sweetheart’s mom. It still never once occurred to me to tell her any details about my relationship with her son, during the years we dated or after we broke up. And she never asked me either.

    It drives me crazy that Tessa always ditches her phone completely because she doesn’t want to deal with Hardin. Like, honey, that’s not why cell phones were invented. They serve other vital purposes in life. It’s also further proof that her feelings for Hardin cloud her ability to make ANY good judgments on her self-preservation.

    • The cell phone thing would carry more weight as her trying very hard to make a decision to limit her interactions with Hardin, if it weren’t for the fact that she just flounces off to see Hardin. WHAT WAS THE POINT?

    • Samantha

      Her and Noah’s relationship was BAFFLING to me. What the heck.

  • Blinvy .

    Ugh, I remember this chapter. The worst thing about Anna Todd’s writing is that she puts in all of this stuff for drama without thinking about the characters and how these actions should affect them. This isn’t drama, this is Hardin being a shit and all the reader wants is for Tessa to wise up and tell him off BUT SHE NEVER DOES!!! It’s so infuriating.

    Like, I just know Hardin is going to get out of this in the easiest way possible. He’ll say something stupid like “it was just friendly” or “we were just messing around” but he will not apologize and he will make Tessa feel bad or stupid for being angry about it. This book hurt my soul to read because it was just a guy acting like the crappiest person ever while the girl is constantly gaslighted by him into thinking his behaviour is normal or something she can fix if she just doesn’t piss him off so much. It’s so gross and I hate it and I want this book to die.

    • Samantha

      I’m full on dreading the next couple of chapters for this reason.

  • Is it just me or is there a trend where in each shitty new incarnation of this same dreadful story they seem to go “hmm, the relationship violence and overall abuse wasn’t transparent enough, better increase it!”?

    • Samantha

      I was thinking this too but then wondering if I just felt that way because I’m in the thick of this lol.

  • The_v_from_the_sub_B

    Oh. Tessa is supposed to be a “cool girl,” and let Hardin get away with crap behavior because she is (needs to be) too cool to be jealous or weepy or angry about anything or anybody Hardin does. Right? Ugh.

    • Samantha

      I wanted her to cause a scene so badly. Cry and scream and dump her drink on him and storm off. I want him to hurt for hurting her and being such a garbage human. He KNOWS how Molly makes her feel insecure. God damn I hate him.