Previously, Trabby had sex. Abby left in the middle of the night (effectively moving out of the Apartment of Contrived Bets) and Travis had an epic meltdown. Then Abby agreed to go on a date with Parker! Something tells me Travis ain’t gonna like this. [Matthew says: Side note – Because nothing makes sense anymore, fewer things happen in Ariel’s book than my book this week, so she’s going to try to do another post that will go up later today for another chapter. This may or may not happen (work, yo), but don’t forget to check Bad Books, Good Times again tonight just in case!]
Chapter Ten: Poker Face
This chapter opens with Abby sharing more of her inner thoughts with us in a few pages than she has in the entire book. She forms a plan to approach Travis casually at The Lunch Table of Thrown Food and Impromptu Dance Numbers. [Matthew says: And People Who Hate Each Other Who Also Always Each With Each Other.]
I had spent most of the night trying to form a plan to get us to where we were before. If I treated our encounter the way he regarded sex in general, I would have a better chance. The plan risked losing him altogether, but I hoped his enormous male ego [Matthew says: Totally thought this was gonna be a different word] would force him to play it off the same way.
Well, that’s a shitty plan. No wonder Abby is always reluctant to share information with us. [Matthew says: This also pretty much confirms my understanding last week that Abby really just had sex with her best friend for no reason because Jamie McGuire needed to move the plot forward for any arbitrary reason.]
Travis calls Abby out on trying to act overly casual at which point he mentions that he took Abby’s virginity. Given they’re still in the cafeteria, this seems like a terrible place to have this conversation. Thankfully (for lack of a better word), Blando interrupts this riveting conversation by telling Abby how excited he is for their date.
Travis gets mad at Abby, but it’s because he realizes that she’s done this on purpose. BUT WHY, ABBY, WHYYYY?
“That’s why you said I wouldn’t miss you after today! You knew I’d find out about you and Parker , and you thought I’d just . . . what? Get over you? Do you not trust me, or am I just not good enough ? Tell me, damn it! Tell me what the fuck I did to you to make you do this!”
Somehow the conversation becomes about Travis’ history with women and how this should be no different.
He shook his head, disgusted. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were shoving my past in my face.”
“I don’t think four weeks ago constitutes the past.” His face contorted and I laughed. “I’m kidding! Travis, it’s fine. I’m fine, you’re fine. There’s no need to make a big deal of it.”
I remember at the beginning of this book when characters would try to tell jokes. They still haven’t gotten any better at it. It’s also just the most horrible attempt at diffusing a situation I’ve ever seen. I mean, come on, that was the most abrupt shift. [Matthew says: More importantly, WHY was this scene NOT in my version of the story? If it was, it was so much shorter I didn’t think it was worth covering on the blog, but why does Travis’s version of the story only ever have Travis shove Travis’s past in his face?]
Travis vows that he won’t go back to fucking around, and he’s going to prove to Abby that he’s totally committed to her. Despite this intense moment, Abby still has her priorities in order:
An escaping tear fell down my cheek and I quickly wiped it away. The curious stares of my classmates targeted my back as I plodded to class.
Will the stares of The Students Without Netflix never cease? Sidenote: it’s only just struck me how bizarre of a word choice “plodded” is here. It’s almost as out of place and distracting to me as if McGuire had written “flew” or “moon-walked.”
Later that night, Abby goes on the date with Blando, and it lives up to his name. In fact, Abby is so not into Parker that she’s excited when Travis calls, interrupting the dullest date in the history of dullsville. Classy lady that she is, Abby giggles and makes plans to go bowling with Travis the following evening.
I turned to Parker, grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
“Travis?” he asked with a knowing expression.
“Yes,” I frowned, caught. [Who the fuck else would it have been?]
“You’re still just friends?”
“Still just friends,” I nodded once.
I warmed up to him after a while, and he reminded me of how charming he was. I felt lighter, almost giggly, a marked change from earlier. As hard as I tried to push the thought from my head, I couldn’t deny that it was my plans with Travis that had brightened my mood.
So in order for Abby to enjoy a date with this guy, she needs to have agreed to a date from another guy? Damn, Blando, you are really the most boring guy alive. I should also note they’re eating Chinese takeaway again, and they’ve only been on like three dates. Blaaaanndooo. [Matthew says: Wait, he didn’t even take her out? On THE THIRD DATE? This book is trying very hard to make Travis look like the better choice.]
At the end of the night, Abby agrees to go on another date with Blando even though she is clearly desperate for this date to end. Maybe she’s hoping for more free Chinese takeaway? [Matthew says: I mean, that is apparently all he has to offer, so, hey! If that’s your thing!] Then Blando tries to ask her to the date party that’s coming up at his fraternity, but Abby agreed to go with Travis to that ages ago.
“You want me to ask someone else? And you’re going with Travis. Do you not see how completely absurd that is?” [I think 99% of this book is absurd, but it is really rude to cancel on someone last minute.]
I crossed my arms, ready for a fight. “ I told him I would go before you and I ever went out, Parker. I can’t cancel on him.”
“You can’t, or you don’t want to?”
“Same difference. I’m sorry that you don’t understand.” I pulled the door open to Morgan, and Parker put his hand on mine.
Instead of ending shit with Blando now, Abby accepts his apology and heads inside to her dorm room. Oh, she does end things with him later this chapter, but in the most cruel, idiotic way possible. [Matthew says: Also the most anticlimactic way possible, if you, like me, are a terrible person and just more interested in how good of a story it makes.]
Travis shows up to take Abby out on a late night motorcycle adventure. They finally start talking about their feelings and why Abby slept with him in the first place.
“Well, that’s a first. I’ve never had a girl sleep with me to get me to leave her alone,” he said, keeping his back to me.
“That’s not what it was, Travis,” I lied, ashamed that he had guessed my intentions without realizing how right he was.
And this is supposed to be romantic fiction? I’m pretty sure all Abby has shown us is that she really really does not want to date Travis, and now suddenly she might have feelings for him? I’m not comprehending this at all. How on Earth did she think sleeping with him was actually going to get rid of him? Unless her vagina is similar to the spider-web that is Aphrodite’s over in Marked, I don’t get this at all. [Matthew says: Also, if this is her motivation for sleeping with Travis all of a sudden, this makes even less sense than there being no reason at all. I guess she was trying to take advantage of Travis’s “Wham! Bam! Thank you, ma’am!” lifestyle, but this doesn’t explain why she suddenly wanted him to leave her alone forever, or why any thinking person would decide this was a plan that could work.]
Travis finally tells Abby he loves her, and she tells us this:
My plan to feign ignorance was an epic fail. [Epic slang, McGuire] [Matthew adds: I could write an entire, other 1000 word post on how much I hate the phrase “epic fail”. Although I don’t have the room for that, and it basically boils down to “you sound dumb”.] I couldn’t pretend to be impervious when he had laid all of his cards on the table. When we met, something inside both of us had changed, and whatever that was, it made us need each other.
Since fucking when? Footage not found at all. Where is this coming form? This comes out of left field more than Abby sleeping with Travis for the first time does. Abby, pretending to be impervious before made no sense, why stop now?
Instead of telling Travis she needs to go walk plot puppy or take a shower, she calls Blando.
“I’m sorry for calling you so early, but this couldn’t wait. I . . . can’t go to dinner with you on Wednesday.”
“It’s almost four in the morning, Abby. What’s going on?”
“I can’t see you at all, actually.”
“Abs . . . ”
“I’m . . . pretty sure I’m in love with Travis,” I said, bracing for his reaction.
After a few moments of shocked silence [Shocked? He asks you every five minutes if you have feelings for Travis?], he hung up in my ear.
They go home, pet plot puppy, have sex, and Abby promises she’s not going to leave again. The only significant thing worth mentioning is that Travis has thrown out all of his condoms because if he wasn’t going to have sex with Abby, he wasn’t going to have sex with anyone. So I guess he thought Abby was never going to change her mind and that he’d remain celibate in her honor? Or is this just a realllly contrived way for McGuire to get her heroes to have sex without a condom? I’m going to go with the latter.