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Chapters Seventeen and Eighteen: A Cinderella Story

A lot has happened in my life since the last entry, let alone Anastasia’s. I’m a redhead now. I’ve been to Prague. I went to an amazing gig, followed by an after-party by personal invitation of the rock star performing. A rock star who flirted pretty heavily with me before I told him that I loved his music, and who remembered my name long after I revealed that I did.

Never mind that, however. The chapter begins with Ana waking up in her own bed and Christian asleep beside her. She’s basking in the sheer joy that she feels at convincing him to put aside his disdain for intimate commitment and stay the night. However, he soon realises that he’s late for work/meeting/manicure and leaves. They instantly switch to emailing each other, a dramatic convention that’s becoming tedious very quickly. Ana addresses her reservations about spanking, mentioning that it makes her feel debased and Christian dismisses this; claiming that the entire point of it is to feel so.

“No” apparently means “get used to it” with Mr Grey.

There’s more emailing and it’s pretty dull; not anything that makes your heart go any faster, as would be nice in a romantic/erotic story. There’s a short paragraph about Ana leaving her job at the hardware store, giving the employers an emotional farewell. We, the readers, might share this sentiment if we knew anything about them but we don’t. So we don’t care.

Christian then emails to say he’s sending a doctor over to give her a shot. This refers back to when he pigheadedly told her that she needed to take care of birth control because he doesn’t like condoms.

Ana doesn’t seem too perturbed by this and the story then cuts to her and Kate’s last night in their student flat. Jose comes over to share a Chinese meal with them both before Elliot arrives. He passionately embraces Kate and they make Ana and Jose so uncomfortable, Ana proposes that they leave and give them some privacy. As I, the reader, am taken with them, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that I can’t be a part of Kate/Elliot, a far more interesting ad superior love story by far.

When Ana says goodbye to Jose and returns home, she reveals that Kate and Elliot “can be heard”. Supposedly, this means that they’re having amazing, loud sex.

Sigh.

Ana then opens her email to discover a message from Grey demanding to know why she hasn’t called him since she finished work. Instead of rolling her eyes and ignoring such a ridiculous action, Ana bites her lip and worries about how angry he is. She instantly calls him and tells him every move she’s made since their last conversation and he’s moody and distant.

I don’t know how much longer I can take this for.

Cut to Elliot helping them set up their television in their new Seattle apartment, all the while cheerful and much more attractive than his moody brother. He leaves and Kate is clearly madly in love with him, while Ana watches on with jealousy and resentment. Why can’t her man be like that?

Because he’s a sociopath. That’s why.

So in the next section, Ana is on her way to meet said sociopath at his apartment. She dresses well for it and is somewhat jumpy and excited about the whole thing. I can predict they’ll exchange the same dialogue that they always do before having sex. During the sex, he will, as ever, talk nonstop and kill any mood that the reader might try to conjure up for his or herself.

And Ana will get her shot, of course. Because condoms are evil and any woman who requires her sexual partner to wear one is being unreasonable. She should, instead, get something that will interfere with her hormones, her cycle and her organs injected into her bicep.

Chapter eighteen begins with said doctor, who is female, examine Ana and then administering the shot. Ana states that she is clearly desperate to enquire about Ana’s relationship with Grey. It’s a little narcissistic. Maybe she’s wondering, like I certainly am, why a grown woman in the 21st century is allowing a man to bully and belittle her into giving him everything that he wants with no exchanges or compromise.

After Dr Greene leaves (see I told you that Cluedo characters would all appear!) and the sex, inevitably, begins. I try really hard to get into it, I do! The session goes on for about twelve pages, until the end of the chapter, but at no point is there even a flicker of desire from me.

Maybe I’m broken? I have this thought at least twice a day but it comes more frequently now that I’m forcing myself to read this novel.

I will say one thing for Ana, though. I’ve been a little harsh on her in one regard. Every time she goes on about the fact that Grey is clearly too good for her, I’ve been rolling my eyes. However, after this whole experience with aforementioned rock star (whose song was mentioned in my last entry as one that always makes me want, you know, it) I feel a little differently. Never before in my life has flirting with someone been so strange, almost like an out of body experience. Had it been with anyone else I was attracted to, I would have silently been thinking, “huh, this is going quite well. Just keep smiling, just keep laughing, be witty but not too sarcastic and maybe he’ll do something more” but with him…it was like watching a film or, more aptly, reading a book.

The entire time, a voice in my head was saying, “you shouldn’t even be looking at him, let alone talking to him like this”.

My best friend referred to the whole ordeal as “a cinderella story”. Yes. There was a girl, there was a prince equivalent, there was a night out that I had to eventually leave and he was looking for me after I had left.

And, most like the fairytale, I had to ditch the dress for an apron. The main difference would be the incredibly obvious lack of a happy ending.

No glass slipper, though. Camden with bare feet is suicide.

Until the next time I can make myself read this…..

 

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