So the school paper interviewed Ariel and myself about Bad Books, Good Times and the eBook for next week’s issue! I’m looking forward to even more people on campus only knowing me as “the sex blog guy”.
Gia Mattero, whom we’ve apparently met before, shows up to go over plans for renovating the new house with Christian and Ana. Ana displays how much she has grown as a character over 1100 pages by immediately regarding her with insane jealousy.
She is well groomed—one of those women who grew up with money and breeding, though her breeding seems to be lacking this evening; her pale blue blouse is undone too far.
Over the course of the next four pages, Ana imagines every single little act Christian does as a sign that he’s denying Gia’s advances and asserting his attachment to Eva. Approximately 100% of it is in her head.
I’m gripped by the uncanny feeling that Christian and I are putting on a show, playing a game together—but this time we’re on the same side pitted against Ms. Matteo. Does he know that she’s attracted to him and is being too obvious about it? It gives me a small rush of pleasure when I realize maybe he’s trying to reassure me. Or maybe he’s just sending a message loud and clear to this woman that he’s taken.
Ana sounds like a crazy person.
Mine. Yeah, bitch—mine. My inner goddess is wearing her gladiatrix outfit, and she’s taking no prisoners.
You know, like, more than usual.
Christian leaves for a moment and Ana gets even crazier.
“If you’ll excuse me.” Christian squeezes my shoulders before following Taylor. I wonder idly what’s going on.
“So . . . the master suite?” Gia asks nervously.
I gaze up at her, pausing for a moment to ensure that Christian and Taylor are out of earshot. Then calling on all my inner strength and the fact that I’ve been seriously piqued for the last five hours, I let her have it.
“You’re right to be nervous, Gia, because right now your work on this project hangs in the balance. But I’m sure we’ll be fine as long as you keep your hands off my husband.”
I didn’t cut a word of the exchange, because whaaaaaat. Except seriously, this actually reads like an unreliable narrator. All that Gia has done so far is dress in a way that Ana has perceived as promiscuous, look at Christian, and she “briefly touches his arm in a small, flirty gesture”. You know, it’s entirely possible Gia has a flirtatious personality. Lots of people do. And even if she is, she is designing a house for a newly married couple that just got back from their honeymoon. Even if she is attracted to Christian – which is totally possible, E L James just sucks at writing Ana like a believable narrator – what’s she going to do?
“Otherwise, you’re fired. Understand?” I enunciate each word clearly.
She blinks rapidly, utterly stunned. She cannot believe what I’ve said. I cannot believe what I’ve just said. But I hold my ground, gazing impassively into her widening brown eyes.
Don’t back down. Don’t back down!
I cannot stress this point enough: Ana reads like an unreliable narrator. We cannot trust our narrator because her description of the situation (i.e. BITCH TRYING TO TAKE MY MAN) doesn’t totally match up with the actual physical action she’s describing (i.e. another attractive woman is in the same room as her and her husband). This has been happening the whole time we’ve been reading this.
Maybe Christian will call her out on overreact- haha of course not. He’s going to say something else that we have to take at face value because there’s insufficient context!
“Ana, she’s a sexual predator. Not my type at all.”
And Ana explains her feelings with a metaphor that makes absolutely no sense.
“But you’re like a freight train, and I don’t want to get railroaded because the girl you fell in love with will be crushed. And what’ll be left? All that would be left is a vacuous social x-ray, flitting from charity function to charity function.”
What is this even saying? If you get run over by a train, all that will be left of you is an x-ray? I don’t think that’s how bodily harm works, E L James. No, wait, I’m a biology major. And a person with common sense. OF COURSE NOT.
Their fight concludes with a reference to King Lear, because when English majors like Ana get into fights, they totally make allusions to the literary canon to make their points. No, wait, I’m an English major. And a person with common sense. OF COURSE NOT.
Yes, I have a double major in English and Biology. I’m graduating soon, please hire me.
“For heaven’s sake, I’m not going anywhere. When are you going to get that through your incredibly thick skull? I. Love. You.” I wave my hand in the air like he does sometimes to emphasize my point. “More than . . . eyesight, space, or liberty.” 1
I shit you not, there’s another fucking footnote explaining this.
Anyway, the next thing they do is… have a sexy haircut?
I reach for the glass again, but this time use the water from the neighboring sink to carefully rinse all the shampoo from his hair. I continue to lean over him, and he keeps his hands on my backside, thrumming his fingers back and forward, up and down . . . back and forth . . . hmm. I wiggle. He growls low in his throat.
Christian and Ana have sex and Matthew stops caring.