Have you guys seen that Jamie Dornan (#NotMyChristian) has been talking about how Fifty Shades isn’t misogynistic? But how he completely misses the point that BDSM isn’t what fucking makes the book misogynistic in the first place. Fuck offff, man. Go back to Once Upon a Time.
Beautiful Oblivion Chapter 17:
We begin where last chapter left off after Cami’s father tried to attack her in her apartment, and Trent had to defend her. There was also that whole moment where Cami said she was worried her father was dead because Trent would go to jail. [Matthew says: The stakes were never higher for their love. And for a person’s life too, I GUESS.]
Cami’s mother shows up, and Cami explains the situation to her:
“He came to my apartment. He attacked me.” She jerked her head to look at me with wide eyes. “If Trent hadn’t been there, Mom . . . he was set on beating the hell out of me. Trent had to hold him back, and he still came at me.”
Mom looked down at Dad again. “He was angry you didn’t come for lunch. And then Chase started in. Oh, God. This family is falling apart.”
Can you imagine what would have happened if Cami had missed dinner? And if one of the other brother’s whose name begins with a “C” had started in instead of Chase? Hopefully we’ll never have to find out. [Matthew says: Really, I’m just trying to figure out the “falling apart” part…]
Coby, who is staying at Cami’s, comes into the living room to see what’s going on. I guess he must be a really heavy sleeper if he missed all the fighting but showed up when everything was over. Still, I’m surprised no one points out that if Trent hadn’t been there, Coby would have presumably been able to help Cami.
In what I think is meant to be a shocking turn of events, Coby is completely on Cami’s side, and he and their mother both agree to make sure none of the other Camlin clan find out about this ordeal and come after Trent…which raises the immediate question why they wouldn’t be more concerned that their dad had tried to beat up Cami…? Like what would their reasoning be for attacking Trent? “Hey, man, you shouldn’t have intervened. If he wants to beat Cami up, it’s between our family! You should have just stood there and then quietly excused yourself from the apartment like any decent person would have.”
Trent drives Cami to his house, apologizes for hitting her dad, and invites her to Thanksgiving with his family. For those of you with sharp memories, you’ll recall that Cami was definitely not at this Thanksgiving, the very one where Travis and Abby pretended to be together when they were already broken up. So like with Raegan never being at any events hosted by Brazil, be prepared for lots of excuses as to why Cami doesn’t go to Thanksgiving at the Maddox house.
Trent agrees not to go see Cami at work tonight (at the bar) because she’s worried her brother’s may come after him if they’ve found out what happened.
“Fine. I’ll stay home tonight. But I’m callin’ Kody so he can keep an eye on you.” [Ariel says: I know this isn’t super important, but it’s nagging at me why Trenton would have Kody’s number even. They’re not friends, and as far as I’m aware they don’t hang out. I feel like he only got his number so he could expressly ask him to keep an eye on Cami.]
“Please don’t tell him what happened,” I pleaded.
“I won’t. I know he’ll tell Raegan, and she’ll tell Hank, and then your brothers will find out.”
“Exactly,” I said, appreciating that someone else saw how protective Hank was of me. “See you later.”
It takes a lot of skill to make four lines so convoluted and confusing. Aside from my deep confusion about why Trenton has Kody-Not-Coby’s number, why would Reagan tell Hank what happened? Why the fuck would Hank then tell Cami’s brothers? Why does Hank being protective of Cami lead to him telling her brothers something that would endanger her boyfriend even though he was protecting Cami, which is apparently what Hank wants to do? [Matthew says: Two other acceptable questions are 1) Why is Hank suddenly the most important protector of Cami, and 2) Who’s Hank?]
After work, Trenton spends the night at Cami’s, and they agree to postpone their first real dinner date because they don’t want all the drama hanging over their heads. I feel like they’re not giving enough credit to the romantic dinner that was Chicken Joe’s with Olive.
Also, Jamie McGuire introduces art to the story. To give these characters depth?
“Hey,” he whispered, his voice low and tired. “Those drawings on the walls. Are they yours?”
“Yeah,” I said.
“They’re good. Why don’t you draw me something?”
“I don’t really do that anymore.”
“You should start. You have my art on your walls,” he said, nodding to a couple of framed drawings.
Wait, what? Since when? When did Cami put Trent’s drawings on her wall, and since when does Trent draw anything outside of work?
One was a penciled sketch of my hands, one lying on top of the other, my fingers displaying my first tattoo, the other was a charcoal of an emaciated girl holding a skull that I had to have when he’d finished.
I think it’s hysterical that she’s described what sounds like an absolutely fucking dreadful sketch, and she’s like, “I just had to have it!” I’m assuming she laughs herself to sleep while looking at it.
“I’d like to have some of your originals.”
As opposed to the thousands of copies floating around of Cami’s drawings? We don’t even know what the fuck she’s drawing in the first place.
“Maybe,” I said, settling against the pillow.
Neither of us had much to say after that.
Of course they didn’t have anything else to say, there was barely anything to say to begin with. I can’t even remember if their art is mentioned at all after this, and if it is, it’s clearly not important at all.
A few days later, it’s Thanksgiving, and Trent again invites Cami to his because her mom isn’t ready to tell Cami’s brother’s what happened/kick the dad out for Thanksgiving.
“Come to my house, Cami. Please? My brothers are all coming in.”
“All of them?” I asked.
“Yeah. It’s the first time we’ve all been together since Thomas moved away for that job.”
I pulled a tissue from the box on my nightstand, and wiped my nose. “I already volunteered to work the bar. It’s just Kody and me.”
Are you guys starting to add things up yet? If you have just figured out Cami’s big secret, I hope you will notice how fucking weird it is that she does not react at all to what Trent says.
Later, Cami finally tells Raegan that her dad had tried to attack her the other night, and that’s why Trent has been around so much. Raegan rightly points out that she should have been informed because it’s her apartment too. I’m really surprised she didn’t notice something was wrong sooner, because earlier this chapter Cami mentioned that a lamp and chair had been broken. I guess Raegan was too busy being left out of the plot of all the books in this series.
Raegan convinces Cami to come spend Thanksgiving at hers, which is nice. On the way, T.J. texts Cami asking him to drive him to the airport the next day, and he tells her he’s sorry he didn’t know he’d be home sooner. Why are they even still talking like this? T.J. knows she’s with Trent now, and they had a very amicable breakup and haven’t even spoken since. [Matthew says: Presumably. Remember how they didn’t have the breakup talk at all but “just knew”? Even though Cami was all “did we break up lol I dunno!” a page later? So it wasn’t so much an amicable breakup as, like, Schrodinger’s breakup.]
Cami and Trent text throughout the night, and Cami is jealous of Abby, wishing she could spend time with the Maddox fam.
When I checked my messages just after close, I saw that Trenton had texted with news that Travis and Abby had called it quits. Just when I didn’t think I could take one more disappointment, my phone rang, and Trenton’s name appeared in the display.
I can’t believe I’ve gone this whole book without realizing that Cami is just another Student Without Netflix who can’t handle anymore disappointment after finding out that Travis and Abby had broken up. It must be super easy to disappoint Cami. Like she finds out Raegan ate the last of their Doritos, and she cries for the whole day. [Matthew says: Also, I’m like 99% sure that this is the first time Abby’s actual name has even shown up in this goddamn book, so it’s entirely possible someone out there is reading this book like, “Wait, who’s Abby? I thought Travis was dating Pigeon.”]
Anyway, Trenton tells her he can’t come see her tonight because he has to comfort Travis. This probably means ensuring Travis doesn’t just go out and randomly start beating the shit out of an innocent passerby or seven.
Cami returns to Raegan’s house after work, and T.J. is outside lurking. He’s like, “Oh, I’m good at finding people.” Which is standard for the books we read here, but remains creepy.
Cami asks what he wants:
“You want the honest truth?” he asked. I nodded, and he continued, “I’m a selfish bastard, and want you all to myself . . . even though I know I don’t have time to spend with you. I don’t want you with him. I don’t want you with anyone. I’m trying to be an adult about this, but I’m sick of holding everything in, Cami. I’m sick of being the bigger person. Maybe if you moved to California? I don’t know.”
“We wouldn’t see each other even then. Look at the last weekend I spent there. I’m not your priority.” He didn’t argue. He didn’t respond at all. But I needed to hear him say it. “I’m not, am I?”
He lifted his chin, the softness in his eyes disappeared. “No, you’re not. You never have been, and you know that. But that’s not because I don’t love you. It just is what it is.”
I sighed. “Remember when I came to California, and I mentioned that feeling that doesn’t go away? It just did.”
I waited for a feeling of emptiness, or tears, or something to hurt. Nothing happened. It was possible that it just hadn’t hit me, yet. Or maybe I hadn’t been in love with him for a long time. Maybe I was falling in love with someone else.
We already knew you were in love with Trenton, and so did you, Cami. You have already told us you were in love with two people, already told us you wanted to be with Trenton. None of this was news, and we’d already had closure about your relationship with T.J.
Before going to bed, Trenton and Cami text a little, which leads to this exchange between Cami and Raegan:
“Trenton or T.J.?” Raegan asked.
“God, when you say it that way, it sounds awful.”
“I happen to know the situation. Who was it?”
“Are you worried about T.J. being in town at all?”
“This is so awkward. I keep waiting for him to text me that he’s heard all the dirty details about Trent and me.”
“It’s a small town. It’s bound to happen.”
Aren’t the dirty details that they are seen around town together a lot and now dating or whatever since Cami is single. These are the details T.J. is already aware of. In fact, Cami has probably given him the most details when she first admitted they’d kissed. It also really doesn’t sound that bad that they have both texted her tonight, given she just reaffirmed that she and T.J. are over. Also, since it’s such a small town and everyone hangs out in the same two places, I have no idea how Trenton never saw Cami and T.J. all the months they were together in said town.
Okay, so I know I’ve asked this before, but do you know what the secret it? I’m getting more and more antsy about not shredding a lot of these scenes apart given how little sense they make once you know the “twist”.