The entire first page of chapter four is Ana internally begging Christian to kiss her.
He’s just saved her from a heavily dangerous urban predator; the bike messenger. He has yet to physically let go of her and she’s enjoying the hold very much. Eventually, Christian speaks and what he says is infuriating enough to make me want to hurl the iPad at the wall.
“Anastasia, you should steer clear of me. I’m not the man for you.”
This is bullshit, Christian Grey. You’re the one who overstepped the professional boundaries in the initial meeting, you’re the one who stalked her at her workplace and you’re the one who dragged her out to have coffee with you. You cannot, after all that, turn around and warn her off as if she’s been pursuing you.
Ana, of course, says none of this. She instantly starts panicking and telling herself that she screwed up the date and that he doesn’t want her. I’m subjected to sentence after sentence of self-doubt and embarrassment but not for one moment does she address the fact that he is a complete douche-skip.
She stammers her way through a goodbye and he wishes her luck in her exams and they part ways. Then, this little gem pops up. “I’ve never been on the receiving end of rejection before”.
She goes on to list the guys that have fancied her during her life and how she’s always rebuffed them, her reason being her insecurities about being “too thin”. If I didn’t like Ana before, I’m bordering on hating her now. She’s not real. You can’t be secretly that narcissistic and vain, as well as insecure and plagued by self-loathing. Christian grey clearly isn’t the one with phycological issues here.
Even Kate can’t win me over as she talks Ana through the whole ordeal over the next couple of pages.
After some additional and possibly unnecessary filling about Ana finishing her exams, she returns home to find a gift that’s been delivered. Three first edition volumes of “Tess” with a pretentious quote written on the card.
“Why didn’t you tell me there was danger? Why didn’t you warn me?”
Tess’ fallen woman problems are far worse than Ana’s, I’m sure, but not in the eyes of our twat of a heroine. She’s overwhelmed by this yet again stalker-ish move on Grey’s part. I skim over the dialogue, still fuming at the ridiculousness of Grey. Just picturing him sitting down and writing out that quote annoys me. It should annoy her too and she should sell the bloody things but she doesn’t. She simpers and sighs and I hate every minute of it.
Again, even Kate can’t make it better.
Cut to a bar where Ana, Kate and the generic Jose are getting wasted. In case, like me, you were desperately hoping that Anastasia becomes a more fascinating specimen when intoxicated, you’re mistaken. If at all possible, she’s even more dull. She does, however, decide to drunk call Christian. It seems a little early in the non-existent relationship for this, but at least something’s happening and hopefully she’ll tell him where to go.
Sadly, the whole conversation reads more like an errant teenager calling her somewhat absent father who she rarely sees and who she resents. He sounds disgruntled and shocked about her level of alcohol consumption, and she’s whiny and bratty. At no point does she tell him where to go.
He calls her back to tell her he’s coming to fetch her and then hangs up. Again, it’s more like parent to child than two potential lovers. You’ve bloody well gone and done it now, Ana. He’ll be super-cross and you can kiss goodbye to your spring break and driving lessons.
Jose and Ana go outside and he tries to make a move. She says no and he gets a little forceful. It’s not too uncomfortable to read but she doesn’t fight him off very well. No means no and I firmly believe that, even if it’s conveyed in just a look but can she not at least break his nose or pull his hair? STAND UP FOR YOURSELF, STEELE!
But she doesn’t have to because Grey magically appears and says, “The lady said no” or something like that. So it looks like it’s pistols at dawn for the two gentleman. Hopefully they’ll both die.
Then Ana throws up. Clearly this whole charade is making her as sick as I feel.
Grey’s actually quite nice to her and helps with the hair-holding, while she tosses her cookies all over the place. He offers to take her home and he obviously knows where she lives, being the adept stalker that he is. He confirms this for me by telling her he found her by tracking her mobile.
Be still my heart.
It turns out that Christian is here with his brother Elliot, who’s inside. Ana says she needs to find Kate and explain that Grey’s taking her home so they go in. They find Elliot and Kate are together on the dance floor. Elliot is described as tall with broad shoulder, curly hair and “wickedly, gleaming eyes”. He’s apparently grinning and dancing and basically loving life and I want to throw the iPad down and cry. WHY? He’s, within three sentences, a much preferable hero. And he likes Kate!
I WANT THE FULL RAINBOW OF COLOURS; A STORY OF KATE AND ELLIOT! Not fifty shades of one repetitive, boring tone!
The chapter ends, if anyone cares, with Ana passing out.
Don’t drink anything you can’t handle, kids. You’ll become the moaning heroine of a mediocre romance novel. And not the right kind of moaning.