Chapter 10: Eva
Now in the karaoke club, Eva kicks off this chapter with a very important question:
I leaned into Gideon, who was semisprawled on the expensive leather upholstery. “How come all the guys you work with are hot?”
Indeed, this does seem like a good time to review to properties of Fifty Shades-era romantic leads. Pop quiz!
Just remember your answers as events unfold in this karaoke bar. Sure, it begins innocuously enough; Megumi’s cheered up and is enjoying her night out with friends, Cary’s sung some Billy Joel, and everyone’s trying to get the people who haven’t sung yet to hurry up and embarrass themselves already.
“No fair,” I complained. “You’re all ganging up on me! Gideon hasn’t sung yet, either.”
I glanced at my husband. He shrugged. “I’ll go up if you will.”
Astonishment widened my eyes. I’d never heard Gideon sing, had never even imagined it.
Just remember how you answered the pop quiz, although I’m sure even without that reminder that everyone reading this post is imagining exactly the same thing.
Because this is a serious book about serious matters, Eva’s song choice comes with some heavy-handed symbolism that gets emphatically explained to us, just in case we didn’t quite pick up on it.
I regretted threatening the fragile peace with my song choice. But not enough to change my mind. […] I’d chosen “Brave.” I had to be it to sing it— that, or crazy.
I stayed focused on my husband, who wasn’t laughing or smiling. He just stared intently at my face as I told him via Sara Bareilles’s lyrics that I wanted to see him speak up and be brave.
Eva gets back to the table, happy she sang, but embarrassed that her singing voice is so awful. Before it’s Gideon’s turn to sing, the most predictable thing that could happen in a karaoke bar in the book happens.
And then some idiot started singing “Golden.”
Amazingly, Gideon does not launch into a destructive rage over this. In case you were curious where the bar for Gideon’s character growth after three and a half books is, it is here. [Ariel says: It’s funny because Eva completely expects him to go apeshit and like blow the entire bar up.]
Gideon goes up to sing and the other characters set the reader up for the only thing more predictable than someone singing “Golden” in a karaoke bar in this book.
I looked at Arash and Arnoldo. “Have either of you heard him sing?”
Arnoldo shook his head.
Arash laughed. “Hell, no. With any luck, he’ll sound like you. Like Cary says, he can’t be good at everything or we’d all have to hate him.”
If only this series actually worked like that, Arash.
“This one,” he said, “is for my wife.”
More obviously than the fact that this book will eventually run out of pages, Gideon turns out to be a great singer.
My attention was riveted on Gideon as he looked directly at me and sang, telling me in a lusciously raspy voice […] My God, he was killing me, baring his soul in the rough timbre of his voice.
“Holy fuck,” Cary said, his eyes on the stage. “The man can sing.”
How great a singer? THE BEST SINGER IN THE BAR.
Gideon dominated the attention of everyone in the bar. Of all the voices we’d heard that night, his was truly professional grade.
FUCK IT. BETTER THAN THE STORY’S ACTUAL PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANS.
There was no comparison to Brett
Just in case you weren’t dying of laughter, this is a good time to mention that Gideon is singing Lifehouse’s “Hanging By A Moment”.
[Ariel says: I think I laughed for 20 minutes straight at everything possible in this scene. There is a moment where Eva fucking says, “OH MY GOD I *WAS* HANGING BY A MOMENT!!!!!!” And I never ever recover from my fit of laughter.]
Gideon finishes singing and Eva fights her way through the manic, cheering crowd to him, because half the words in this book could be swapped out with “YAY GIDEON YAY WOOHOO” and it’d basically be the same book.
I practically climbed up Gideon, panting in his ear, “Now!”
Eva and Gideon quickly leave the karaoke bar and go fuck in his limo. Presumably making all their friends they went out with super uncomfortable, but for some reason the book doesn’t touch on this. Which isn’t the only thing this scene weirdly skims through.
“I’m wet. I’m wet,” I chanted
Which is probably the only time in history someone has had this reaction to Lifehouse.
The next morning, Gideon and Eva spend the night at Gideon’s… other other apartment? (I can’t keep track.) Cary stays in the attached single-bedroom apartment and Gideon offers that he live there, which Cary responds to with words that I’m not sure are being used correctly even for figurative language.
“Do you want to live there?” I persisted.
Cary gave me a lopsided smile. “Yeah, baby girl. It’s a dream. Thank you for the pity fuck, Gideon.”
The book has a weird moment of near-self-awareness.
Gideon snagged a piece of bacon and stuck it in his mouth. Leaning forward, I parted my lips. He bent toward me, letting me bite off the end.
“Come on,” Cary groaned. “I’m fighting nausea as it is.”
And then jumps right back into sexism/homophobia/I don’t even know what’s all going on in here:
“Mark and Steven have been together for years, too,” I argued. “They don’t fight or moon at each other.”
He shot me a look. “They’re gay, Eva. No estrogen in the mix to cause drama.”
“Oh my God. You sexist pig! You did not just say that.”
Cary glanced at Gideon. “You know I’m right.”
“And with that,” Gideon declared, grabbing three strips of bacon, “I’m out.”
It’s funny because it’s, like, so awkward to reduce people to stereotypes! That is why this funny moment is funny!
The chapter ends with Gideon suddenly announcing he was to leave for a work thing and won’t be back until later, which Eva finds weird.
What was important enough to drag him away from me on a weekend?
Show of hands if you seriously believe this is the first time a New York business mogul like Gideon has never worked a weekend during this relationship.