Fifty Shades Darker: Chapter 14
Well, we’ll just go ahead and call this one “dispatches from the UTI front line”, as I’m currently sitting on the bathroom floor with my legs in the air crying and smoking and it’s five in the morning and the pharmacy doesn’t open for another four hours and I’m just ranting quietly to myself about how if men got frequently recurring UTIs we’d have already found a fucking vaccination for them. So, while I was pondering on painful, recurring illnesses that irritate the inside of my vagina, I realised it was time for another Fifty Shades Darker recap!
We left off with Christian going all submissive on Ana when she actually tried to have an adult conversation about their relationship. Ana internally despairs about what she’s “done to him”-
“The thought of me dominating anyone is appalling. The thought of dominating Christian is nauseating. It would make me like her—the woman who did this to him.”
Ugh, look, as if the gender roles weren’t already crammed far enough down my throat in this book. The suggestion that dominating Christian is so disgusting, so “nauseating” to Ana, for he is the man and she is the woman and he should obviously be in charge, to the extent that Ana equates in with the abuse Christian suffered at the hands of Mrs Robinpaedo, is fucking gross and offensive to non-male dom/female sub power-exchange relationships. But this book opened people’s minds to a world of kinky BDSM they never knew about, right? Just as long as that kinky, wild, totally out-there BDSM conforms to STRICT GENDER NORMS.
Ana gets down on her knees in front of him, and begins to talk about Leila, admitting that she felt insecure with seeing Christian with her.
““This is about me not being good enough for you. It was an insight into your life, and I am so scared you’ll get bored with me, and then you’ll go . . . and I’ll end up like Leila . . . a shadow. Because I love you, Christian, and if you leave me, it will be like a world without light. I’ll be in darkness. I don’t want to run. I’m just so frightened you’ll leave me . . .”
Look, I love my boyfriend (who has been passing smoking stuff through the bathroom door and water and politely ignoring my randoms yelps of pain all night, thank you sweetheart), but the thought of him leaving doesn’t strike fucking deathly fear into my soul. It would suck, but I am my own person with my own life and I would survive either way. But maybe that’s because he hasn’t led me to believe a) he would LITERALLY DIE without me and b) That our relationship must be built on insane proclamations of adoration, wild, shrieking toddler drama, or nothing at all. Maybe that. Maybe.
She goes on;
“You’re beautiful and sexy and successful and good and kind and caring-”
“-“I have never understood what you see in me.”
Half-right, there, hen.
So, Christian finally speaks, and goes on about how scared he was when he saw Leila there waving a gun at Ana (#teamleila).
““She might have harmed you. And it would have been my fault.” His eyes drift off, filled with uncomprehending horror, and he’s silent once more.
“But she didn’t,” I whisper. “And you weren’t responsible for her being in that state, Christian.””
Alright, hold up a moment here. While Christian might or might not be directly responsible for Leila’s current state, his is CERTAINLY responsible for not calling the police and banning everyone around him from doing the same. You see what’s going on here? He’s shifting the blame from himself to everyone around him (earlier in this passage, he mentions how angry he was at Ana for…being at the apartment?) instead of taking responsibility for his own rash, dangerous desicions. None of this could/would have happened if they’d taken the proper precautions when Leila BROKE INTO HIS HOUSE.What is Christian Grey hiding? That’s the question I want answered.
Christian takes Ana’s hand, and places it on his chest- his forbidden zone, as we all undoubtedly recall- and the undoes his shirt and looks at him all sexy like as she touches him a bit more. She kisses his chest, and he groans, and it’s not even sexy, it’s all intense and sad and Ana demands to know his deep, dark secret that he thinks will drive her from him.
““I’m a sadist, Ana. I like to whip little brown- haired girls like you because you all look like the crack whore—my birth mother. I’m sure you can guess why.” He says it in a rush as if he’s had the sentence in his head for days and days and is desperate to be rid of it.
My world stops. Oh no.”
Wait, what the shit? Hasn’t this been…patently obvious from pretty much the first moment Cockstain Grey wandered into this series? How is this a revelation? Were readers actually surprised by this? Why is Ana surprised by this? HOW HAS SHE NOT PUT THE PIECES TOGETHER BEFORE NOW OH JESUS EL IS EVEN MORE ARTLESS A WRITER THAN WE EVER COULD HAVE HOPE-
Ana starts losing her shit, and thinks about how they deffo need to break up now (fingers comically tightly crossed.gif), but Christian tries to reassure her-
““When you said you loved me, it was a revelation. No one’s ever said it to me before, and it was as if I’d laid something to rest—or maybe you’d laid it to rest, I don’t know. Dr. Flynn and I are still in deep discussion about it.””
So, no-one has ever told you they love you, huh? Not even, like, your family? Jesus, this chapter is a flailing spasm of an attempt at writing, the careering themes lorry skidding straight off the edge of Nuance Cliff and into the pit of Have Your Characters Say Exactly What They Think and Feel canyon.
Christian tells her that since she came back, he hasn’t felt the urge to beat her and that she has all the power in the relationship etc etc bullshit. Christian demands to know if Ana will leave again, and we get this nuclear bomb going off and destroying everything around it-
““Oh, for crying out loud—no! I am not going to go!” I shout and it’s cathartic. There, I’ve said it. I am not leaving.
“Really?” His eyes widen.
“What can I do to make you understand I will not run? What can I say?”
He gazes at me, revealing his fear and anguish again. He swallows. “There is one thing you can do.”
“What?” I snap.
“Marry me,” he whispers.”
Haha BLACKMAIL! The only thing Ana can do to stop Christian relentlessly hassling her about leaving him is to put a fucking ring on it. Great. Yes. This emotionally fraught time is definetly the BEST TIME TO PROPOSE.
Stunningly reasonably, Ana tells him it’s too soon and that she needs time to think (and that the proposal wasn’t romantic enough, but whatever). Christian insists Ana eat before bed, and microwaves her some mac and cheese (oooh yeeeeaaahhhh). As they sit down to eat, Ana asks Christian what he did with Leila.
““We talked, and I gave her a bath.” His voice is hoarse, and he continues quickly when I make no response. “And I dressed her in some of your clothes. I hope you don’t mind. But she was filthy.””
Oh cool! So on the same night that you got your ex-girlfriend naked and sponged her down in your new girlfriend’s apartment, you went nuclear on her for not immediatley wanting to be with you forever? Wow, what a fucking catch. What a fucking great person. What a fucking not-creepy human being, undressing and bathing a severely mentally ill person with what we can assume was not express or coherent consent. WHAT A GREAT FUCKING GUY.
Christian tries to put a lid on Ana’s inevitable freakout, but she quite rightly storms off and goes to bed, furious at him for everything he’s done. And well, that’s successfully killed a couple of hours till the shops open, so thanks for joining me on this week’s Fifty Shades Blander adventure!