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Linotte Reads “Fifty Shades Darker”: Chapter One

Okay, so now we’re finally back in the story. What happened to Ana after she broke up with Christian? Well, let’s see! Witty, snarky commentary is provided by yours truly!

I take a deep breath. It doesn’t begin to fill the void in my chest, a void that’s been present since Saturday morning, a painful hollow reminder of my loss. I walk toward the bus stop with my head down, staring at my feet and contemplating being without my beloved Wanda, my old Beetle . . . or the Audi.

She is bereft of her car. Seriously, why didn’t you take the Audi? It was a gift, stupid!

And so a pattern develops: wake, work, cry, sleep. Well, try to sleep. I can’t even escape him in my dreams. Gray burning eyes, his lost look, his hair burnished and bright all haunt me. And the music . . . so much music–I cannot bear to hear any music. I am careful to avoid it at all costs. Even the jingles in commercials make me shudder.

Still from the Phantom of the Opera
Then tell the Phantom to quit playing his organ all night, dingbat.

I have become my own island state. A ravaged, war-torn land where nothing grows and the horizons are bleak. Yes, that’s me. I can interact impersonally at work, but that’s it. If I talk to Mom, I know I will break even further–and I have nothing left to break.

She’s not Hawaii!

I am finding it difficult to eat. By Wednesday lunchtime, I manage a cup of yogurt, and it’s the first thing I’ve eaten since Friday. I am surviving on a newfound tolerance for lattes and Diet Coke. It’s the caffeine that keeps me going, but it’s making me anxious.

Maybe that’s why you’re so paranoid. And really, this starvation diet thing isn’t going to work.

Can I see him again? Could I bear it? Do I want to see him? I close my eyes and tilt my head back as grief and longing lance through me. Of course I do. Perhaps, perhaps I can tell him I’ve changed my mind . . . No, no, no. I cannot be with someone who takes pleasure in inflicting pain on me, someone who can’t love me.

Now you’ve figured it out!

I must be strong, but I want to go to José’s show, and deep down, the masochist in me wants to see Christian. Taking a deep breath, I head back to my desk.

Why do you want to go to Sexual Assault Boy’s show again? Tell me, I’m all ears, stupid!

I gasp and I want to shout, I’ve missed you–all of you–not just your mouth!

Really, Ana just missed Christian’s penis.

José’s photographs are everywhere, and in some cases, blown up onto huge canvases. There are both monochromes and colors. There’s an ethereal beauty to many of the landscapes. In one taken out near the lake at Vancouver, it’s early evening and pink clouds are reflected in the stillness of the water. Briefly, I’m transported by the tranquility and the peace. It’s stunning.

Photo of a beach with an overturned rusty grocery cart filled with trash
Yup, like this one. Isn’t the view of the upside-down shopping cart just stunning?

We turn the corner, and I can see why I’ve been getting strange looks. Hanging on the far wall are seven huge portraits–of me.
I stare blankly at them, stupefied, the blood draining from my face. Me: pouting, laughing, scowling, serious, amused. All in super close up, all in black and white.
Holy crap! I remember José messing with the camera on a couple of occasions when he was visiting and when I’d been out with him as driver and photographer’s assistant. He took snapshots, or so I thought. Not these invasive candids.

Shit! These are Jose’s submissions to Creepshots! The bastard!

‘We’ve only been here for half an hour.’
‘You’ve seen the photos; you’ve spoken to the boy.’
‘His name is José.’
‘You’ve spoken to José–the man who, the last time I met him, was trying to push his tongue into your reluctant mouth while you were drunk and ill,’ he snarls.
‘He’s never hit me,’ I spit at him.
Christian scowls at me, fury emanating from every pore. ‘That’s a low blow, Anastasia,’ he whispers menacingly.

That’s right, Ana! Justify the dubious actions of your pervert photographer friend to a guy who hit you. Okay then.

I pour all the angst and heartbreak of the last few days into our kiss, binding him to me, and it hits me–in this moment of blinding passion–he’s doing the same, he feels the same.
He breaks off the kiss, panting. His eyes are luminous with desire, firing the already heated blood that is pounding through my body. My mouth is slack as I try to drag precious air into my lungs.
‘You. Are. Mine,’ he snarls, emphasizing each word. He pushes away from me and bends, hands on his knees as if he’s run a marathon. ‘For the love of God, Ana.’

And we are back to the staccato tones of Christian Grey. Don’t you ever get tired of it, Ana?

And that’s a wrap for this week!

5 replies on “Linotte Reads “Fifty Shades Darker”: Chapter One”

Oh.
My.
God.

Two of my colleagues just talked about this series and that it was ‘a pretty good book’ although ‘you zoom out after a while when sex happens again’ and after me telling that a) it’s horribly written ‘I love it that it’s such an easy read’ and b) it’s Twilight fanfiction: ‘I think Kristen Stewart couldn’t act Ana’s part because she’s too strong, you need someone mopey’.

It has infected my immediate surroundings. Never have I been more glad that Friday will be my last day here.

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