The final chapter again begins with Ana waking up. Mercifully, James spares us the details of Ana’s dreams, only revealing that Ana believes she was falling down a flight of stairs before she woke up. Look at all the fucks I give about this dream.
Ana then has a series of incredibly dull thoughts:
It’s five in the morning, but I feel rested. Why is that? Oh–it’s the time difference–it would be eight a.m. in Georgia. Holy crap…I need to take my pill.
This book is over five hundred fucking pages long, are those details really necessary to this story? And now Christian’s playing his fucking piano in the moonlight again. Jesus Christ, James actually earned millions from writing this drivel. Seriously. Christian is playing piano in the moonlight. I can’t even.
Just kidding, you guys, he’s “shrouded in darkness”, that makes it sooo much better. So they literally are just sitting there playing piano/listening to piano for like three pages. Ana continues reiterating that Christian has a lot of man-pain and it makes her angst so hard.
Ana asks what they should do since they’re not asleep, and Christian is like, “Duh, same thing we do every night, Ana–have the most poorly described sex in the world!”
Ana’s like, “Nooo, let’s talk,” and Christian’s like, “Nooo, let’s bone!”
Then Ana says, “You’d always rather have sex than talk.”
Hold the phones.
A man who would rather have sex than talk? Whaaaat? Somebody alert the media.
Christian suggest piano sex in place of the whole talking thing. But before they can have a three-way with Christian’s piano, Ana’s gotta get some stuff straight about their relationship.
So after all the dicking around with this ultimately useless and non-legally binding contract, they finally decide it’s a moot point and nothing would change if she signed it really. Am I supposed to be applauding for these characters? Is this supposed to be what passes for character development in this book?
Ana says she needs to re-read the rules since Christian still expects her to follow them even though she no longer has to sign the useless contract. Okay. So James wastes space by just copy/pasting the same rules we already fucking saw at least two other times in this book. I’m not re-reading that shit.
James even goes so far as to just use the strike through feature to show us the rules that used to be in place until Ana argued her way out of them.
That bitch stole one of my favorite writing features.
Two seconds later, Ana rolls her eyes at Christian, which means it’s time! To get! SPANKED!!!!!
Poll time, friends!
Yup, he starts chasing her. But he’s really worried that she’ll fall and hurt herself while running. Like she’s a toddler or something!
Hey, Ana has the same thought a paragraph or so later too, “My heart is pounding, and adrenaline has spiked through my body…boy…this is thrilling. I’m a child again, though that’s not right.” At least she admits how disturbing the comparison is.
Then something actually interesting happens. Ana keeps saying how he’s definitely not going to catch her, which confuses both Christian and myself, and finally he says, “Anyone would think you didn’t want me to catch you.”
And Ana explains that that’s the point, and she feels the same way about punishment that he does about her touching him.
His entire demeanor changes in a nanosecond. Gone is playful Christian, and he stand staring at me as if I’ve slapped him. He’s ashen.
Ana tries to backtrack and say it’s not quite as bad as that, because obviously it must be pretty fucking terrible for him. But he still feels bad and is asking why she let him punish her in the playroom last night, and Ana’s like, “I do it for you, Christian, because you need it. I don’t. You didn’t hurt me last night. That was in a different context, and I can rationalize that internally, and I trust you.”
Okay, again, hold the fucking phones.
Did I just read something in this book that made sense? And actually seemed like a Realistic Human Action. Doing something for someone you love even though you yourself don’t need it?
This right here? You’re witnessing Ana’s most likable moment. Savor it. I sure as hell am.
So then Christian explains that if he tells her why he’s so messed up, she’ll run away. And then he reveals that she begged him not to leave her while she was sleeping. OH AW GOSH THAT’S ADORBS!!!
Following her most likable moment, Ana has more fucking shitty moments that may or not be her worst. She asks Christian to show her how bad it can get and how much it can hurt, just because secretly she thinks it might get him to let her touch him. She sort of tries to explain this to him, but doesn’t actually quite get the words out. Annoying.
In the playroom, he makes her count his spankings (six for those of you desperately wondering). By four she’s crying really hard. By six she wants nothing to do with him.
So instead of using a safe-word or something to get him to stop, she just yells at him, “This is what you really like? Me, like this?”, “You are one fucked-up son of a bitch”, “You need to sort your shit out, Grey.”
Wait. If she had just let him spank her really hard earlier, we could have avoided this entire shitty book completely?? It didn’t bother her that he was clearly fucked up before this spanking (that she asked for) occurred? That’s all it took for their epic love to come to a anticlimactic end (for now)? GOD DAMN IT!
But then she just goes to sleep in that bedroom in his house that he gave to her. She doesn’t, you know, leave? Instead she thinks back to her mother’s cliches, and thinks, “I did follow my heart, and I have a sore ass and an anguished, broken spirit to show for it.”
I got a horrific spanking and all I have is this sore ass to show for it. Man, I’m outta here.
And then they actually talk and break-up for real. And it’s sort of sad, actually. She tells him she loves him, and that just upsets him because he feels like he’s bad news for her (correct) and she knows that this stuff is what he likes and she’s not into it (correct.)
I have yet another moment where I over-identify with Ana and am completely disturbed by this fact. She realizes that they’ve hit an impasse and are just incompatible, so she realizes there’s no point in being there anymore. And she’s just tired and wants to get the fuck outta there. Been there, girl. Ana, for once I’d actually like to take you out for coffee and have a heart to heart.
I mean, this scene is such a bummer, even Ana’s subconscious is being nice to her. That says way more than the fact that even I want to be nice to her. Her subconscious is an even bigger dick than me! And Christian’s actual dick!
“I know what I want, and you can’t give it to me.” A round of applause for, Ana, everyone. This is something we all need to learn to say.
Don’t worry, there’s some comic relief to lighten the mood!
I head straight to my room, and there, hanging limply at the end of my bed, is a very sad, deflated helicopter balloon. Charlie Tango, looking and feeling exactly like me.
Here’s one final poll for the road, guys.
See ya’ll next week when we start Hush Hush and the second Fifty Shades!