Happy Wednesday, all! It’s time for another recap of Fifty Shades Freed, and we’re almost done with this hot mess. When last we left the dysfunctional couple, Ana and Christian appeared to have reconciled, and Christian has begun to open up to Ana about his past. Shall we continue so we can see what happens next?
“It was a hot summer day. I was working hard.” He snorts and shakes his head, suddenly amused. “It was backbreaking work shifting that rubble. I was on my own, and Ele—Mrs. Lincoln appeared out of nowhere and brought me some lemonade. We exchanged small talk, and I made some smart-ass remark . . . and she slapped me. She slapped me so hard.” Unconsciously, his hand moves to his face and he caresses his cheek, his eyes clouding at the memory. Holy shit!
“But then she kissed me. And when she finished, she slapped me again.” He blinks, seemingly still confounded even after all this time.
“I’d never been kissed before or hit like that.”
Oh. She pounced. On a kid.
“Do you want to hear this?” Christian asks.
Yes . . . No . . .
“Only if you want to tell me.” My voice is small as I lie facing him, my mind reeling.
I nod in what I hope is an encouraging manner. But I suspect I may look like a statue, frozen and wide-eyed with shock.
“Well, naturally, I was confused and angry and horny as hell. I mean, a hot older woman comes on to you like that—” He shakes his head as if he still can’t believe it.
Hot? I feel queasy.
Just so we’re clear, a “hot older woman” coming onto a teenage boy is just as creepy and abusive as a hot older man coming onto a young girl. Okay? Okay.
“She didn’t touch me when she kissed me,” he murmurs and turns his head to gaze at me. “You have to understand . . . my life was hell on earth. I was a walking hard-on, fifteen years old, tall for my age, hormones raging. The girls at school—” He stops, but I’ve got the picture: a scared, lonely, but attractive adolescent. My heart twists.
He was a walking hard-on. HE WAS A WALKING DICK. This visual is just wrong!
“I was angry, so fucking angry at everyone, at myself, my folks. I had no friends. My therapist at the time was a total asshole. My folks, they kept me on a tight leash; they didn’t understand.” He stares back up at the ceiling and runs a hand through his hair. I itch to run my fingers through his hair, too, but I stay still.
“I just couldn’t bear anyone to touch me. I couldn’t. Couldn’t bear anyone near me. I used to fight . . . fuck, did I fight. I got into some god-awful brawls. I was expelled from a couple of schools. But it was a way to let off steam. To tolerate some kind of physical contact.” He stops again. “Well, you get the idea. And when she kissed me, she only grabbed my face. She didn’t touch me.” His voice is barely audible.
Um, someone grabbing your face is still touching you. Sorry to shatter your imagination with reality, Christian.
“Well, the next day I went back to the house, not knowing what to expect. And I’ll spare you the gory details, but there was more of the same. And that’s how our relationship started.”
Oh, fuck, this is painful to hear.
He shifts again onto his side so he’s facing me.
“And you know something, Ana? My world came into focus. Sharp and clear. Everything. It was exactly what I needed. She was a breath of fresh air. Making the decisions, taking all that shit away from me, letting me breathe.”
“And even when it was over, my world stayed in focus because of her. And it stayed that way until I met you.”
What the hell am I supposed to say to that? Tentatively, he smoothes a stray lock of my hair behind my ear.
“You turned my world on its head.” He closes his eyes, and when he opens them again, they are raw. “My world was ordered, calm and controlled, then you came into my life with your smart mouth, your innocence, your beauty, and your quiet temerity . . . and everything before you was just dull, empty, mediocre…it was nothing.”
Sure, founding and running a multimillion-dollar company is nothing. People do it every day.
“I fell in love,” he whispers.
I stop breathing. He caresses my cheek.
“So did I,” I murmur with the little breath I have left.
His eyes soften. “I know,” he mouths.
Hallelujah! I smile shyly at him. “Finally,” I whisper.
Tell me! I will him.
“If you grow up with a wholly negative self-image, thinking you’re some kind of reject, an unlovable savage, you think you deserve to be beaten.”
Christian . . . you are none of those things.
He pauses and runs his hand through his hair. “Ana, it’s much easier to wear your pain on the outside . . .” Again, it’s a confession.
And pain is so in for this fall. All the fashion magazines are showing it!
And that’s it for today!