Fifty Types of Dreck – or, that “book” series everyone loves for some reason – Chapter Four

Chapter Four. After the break, we find Ana still mutely pleading with Grey to kiss her. But he doesn’t. He shakes his head as if reading her mind. And then he tells her to stay away.

Actually, he says, “I’m not the man for you,” but that’s pretty much the same thing. She just thinks he’s rejecting her because she’s a fuck-up. No, dumbass, he’s scary and you should listen. Run far and fast.

She thanks him for saving her, but is still beating herself up inside. Get thyself away, already! He’s given you a few clues by this point that he’s off-putting and possibly crazy. You really are very sheltered.

Ana walks away and he follows her, angst personified. He calls her name and then she gets annoyed when he doesn’t continue. Then he wisher her luck on her finals. “This is why he looks so desolate?” she wonders. You can’t possibly be this stupid.

She gets away from him before she starts to cry, sitting on the dirty ground of the parking garage. You couldn’t make it as far as the car? Also, you sure you want to hide your head in a dimly-lit area? She’s never been rejected before, except for sports (which, believe me, we get it). Get used to it, sweet cheeks, the Real World is a scary place, not everyone is gonna like you, and the sooner you learn this, the better. However, she has rejected any would-be suitors because she’s “insecure.” Well, now you know what it feels like to be on the receiving end, bitch.

Her “subconscious” tells her to stop, but is doing things like “tapping her foot in frustration.” This device bugs me. The subconscious is one’s thoughts; it doesn’t do anything. Your unique spin is obnoxious.

When she gets back, Kate notices that she’s upset, and wants to know what Grey did. Yet, Ana doesn’t tell her the whole truth, just about almost falling into the street. She won’t be seeing Grey again, which means, of course, that he’ll show up unannounced in the next chapter.

Blah blah blah, insecurity, blah blah assuaging Ana’s ego, blah. Kate asks if she’d like to look at the article. She doesn’t really read it, though, just stares at the pictures. Then she “realizes” that it’s because Grey is too good-looking, and that’s why they’ll never be together. She can almost live with that; she knows that had to be what he meant, because she’s so naive about the world in general, yet knows everything. Maybe he’s celibate, she wonders as she readies for bed. Because he “doesn’t do the girlfriend thing.” I thought you were okay with his rejection, so can we advance the frame now, please?

And now, finals are over, and it’s celebration time. Ana might even get drunk, which has never happened before. Wait, what planet are you from? What kind of college student are you? This is (one of) the major issues I have with this book – you want to make your protagonist a virgin and have us witness her deflowering, okay, but just because she’s not well-versed in the ways of the penis doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with not imbibing alcoholic beverages. Anyway, I’m sure that since it’s her first time, something bad will probably happen to her.

She and Roomate Kate go home to find a package for Ana, but she hasn’t ordered anything. Gee, I wonder who it’s from. It’s a first edition of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’urbervilles, in three volumes. Okay, that’s a creepy book choice to gift to someone, especially considering the subject matter. What’s creepier, however, is the accompanying card, with this quote from said book: “Why didn’t you tell me there was danger? Why didn’t you warn me? Ladies know what to guard against, because they read novels that tell them of these tricks . . . ” Does anyone else see how disturbing this is? Then again, since hardly anyone reads anything but drivel these days, I can see how this connection might be lost.

Ana does see the card as a warning, but it shouldn’t be read as a sexy warning. Tess is a character who gets sexually assaulted, in case you didn’t ever cover this book in school. She says she’ll send them back with a different quote; why don’t you sell them to a collector and make some money, instead? And then they have some champagne. For the second time in this book. How fancy!

They go to the bar, and José joins them. They drink margaritas. Ana tells José that she and Kate are moving to Seattle, where her rich friend has a convenient condo for her to freeload, I mean, live in. She gets drunk and giggles. She drunk-dials Grey whilst in line for the can. He hears how drunk she is, and wants her to tell him what bar she’s at. She calls him “domineering,” and giggles, which makes him swear at her; then she hangs up on him. He calls her back while she’s in the toilet stall and says he’s “coming to get” her. Now, if that doesn’t sound sinister . . . She’s not worried, though, because she didn’t give him her location, and by the time he’d get there, she’ll be gone. She gets a pitcher of beer to celebrate her intellect.

Ana goes outside to get some air almost immediately after returning to the table, and José follows her out. She admits she’s drunk, which he sees as an invitation to hold her. She tries to push him away. He tells her that he likes her, and tries to kiss her. This throws her into a panic. Her reaction is way too strong, like he’s pinning her down and forcing his peen into her. Yes, I understand, “no” is still “no,” but why are you tripping so much about your friend? It’s not a stranger.

And then, she hears, “I think the lady said no.” It’s Batman! No, wait, it’s Grey. Batman would have been a better choice. How did he arrive so quickly? Maybe he IS Batman!

José lets her go, and the two men stare each other down while Ana pukes. José is disgusted, and Grey pulls her to a place where she can toss her cookies in relative peace. He holds her hair back, then gives her a hankie when she’s done. She’s so embarrassed! Well, that’s what happens whey you overdo it, and layer drinks that don’t mesh together . . .

José goes inside, and Ana apologizes to Grey. He admonishes her for her behavior, then offers to take her home. He’s still staying at the hotel and he found the bar by tracking Ana’s phone. That’s not stalker-like behavior at all! “Somehow, because it’s him, I don’t mind.” Because he’s good-looking, you mean. Does anyone else picture Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho? Cause I do. And I can’t stop.

She pleads to tell Kate where she’s going, and he relents but doesn’t seem happy about it. Come on, she’s trying to be somewhat sensible, for once, and he’s not okay with that? Red flag, anyone? She’s so confused – so easily submit, for that is always the right answer. You really haven’t any shred of self-esteem, do you?

They go inside. Kate is on the dance floor somewhere, and Ana has to reach up to shout this to him, which sets her body on fire again, “and somewhere deep, deep down my muscles clench deliciously.” I see you’ve been doing your Kegel exercises . . .

He gets her a glass of water from the bar, and orders her to drink it. He is pissed. She relives her embarrassment as she drinks the water. Then he leads her back to the dance floor – wait, what? This is a scary man, with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, and if you’re steady enough now, you should run. I thought he didn’t want to go back inside, anyway? Her mother’s old warning, “Never trust a man who can dance,” comes to her mind. Which means – what exactly? Of course, not only is Christian Grey hot, sexy, and rich, he also has the moves.

Kate is dancing with Grey’s brother, Elliot. Grey tells Elliot something, presumably that he’s going to chain Ana in the underground sex cage, and they leave. Ana is concerned with how Kate seems to feel toward Elliot. I think you should be more concerned about yourself right now. But . . . but . . . Ana didn’t get to give Kate the safe-sex lecture! Which, coming from you, is what? don’t do it, ever?

Her brain is spinning faster than a carousel and she blacks out, but not before she hears Grey shout, “Fuck!” Is that an order?

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