This chapter is 79 pages. I’m not getting through all of this at one.
What happens when you have people conditioned to believe that an abuser is okay? You get those two girls. Despite a first sentence about Josh doing something wrong, Jessa decided to, “speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist, some people are saying. I’m like that is so overboard and a lie really, I mean people get mad at me for saying that but I can say this because I was one of the victims. So I can speak out and I can say this and set the record straight here. Like in Josh’s case, he was a boy, a young boy in puberty and a little too curious about girls. And that got him into to some trouble. And he made some bad choices, but really the extent of it was mild, inappropriate touching, on fully clothed victims, most of it while girls were sleeping.”
Because she was taught otherwise, she thinks Josh molesting four of his sisters (according to police reports, he digitally penetrated a five-year-old, and did have his hands under the clothing of other sisters, including trapping one in the laundry room) is just a mild thing, not a big deal, since he was a “young boy” old enough to have a driver’s permit, and he was merely curious about girls. If you’re familiar with the Duggars and this case, then you’ll see the numerous holes and twisting in what those girls are saying.
Telling today’s generation of young girls that what creeps like Christian Grey does is acceptable helps set them up to be abused, like Jill and Jessa, and for then to defend their abuser.
Oh yippee skippy. A symbolic dream of symbolism. For once, this is a dream that would suck to have. His mom isn’t home, and he doesn’t know where she is or when she’ll be home. He plays with his toy cars, and plays with the light switch when it gets dark outside. He gets hungry, and so eats the “cheese with blue fur” from the fridge. Sometimes his mom comes home with “him,” who we know is her pimp. He snuggles up in his mom’s closet, where it smells like her. He’s cold and still hungry and doesn’t know when his mom’s coming home.
Two thinks of note. I wish Grey wouldn’t narrate his dreams by talking about “macrami and cheese.” Use your big-kid words when narrating your dreams as an adult.
Also, if we’re supposed to see Ella as “the crack whore,” when we need to not like her. All we see if a little kid Christian who loves his mother and knows she’s doing all she can for him.
As much as that dream is sad, there’s nothing there to startle Grey awake, complete with a cold sweat and racing heart. It Tiny Christian had huddled in that closet to escape his mom’s pimp who was on a rampage, I could see that reaction.
Flynn sucks, and James sucks. She’s still not made it clear tar Flynn is Grey’s therapist. I only know because I read the other books. Flynn sucks for many reasons, but this time he sucks because he went on vacation and didn’t have anything in place for his clients who have urgent needs. Yes, Flynn and James suck. Did you know they suck? Suck suckedy suck suck suck.
Or something like that. In less than half a page, he goes from whining about Flynn being gone to running while pissed he hasn’t heard from Ana and deciding to text her with the order to call him to complaining that he hasn’t heard from her by breakfast, and that at least he’ll see her that night. You see, he needs to know she’s safe.
She’s safe. She’s safe because she’s not with him. But he means her car. He’s so incredibly sure she’s going to die in that car. How dare she be driving it.
Nine thirty and still no word from Ana. Her radio silence is worrying—and frankly rude.
No, rude is expecting her life to revolve around you so much that she calls the second you think she should, especially when it’s early enough that she might not even be up yet. I know a lot of people are awake much earlier, but since the night before was… Well, she probably slept in a bit.
His computer dings with a message! It’s just from Mia. Mia is even more twee here than in the other books. Lots of e-squealing and pouting about having to fly coach. now I’m far from rich, but if I was flying from Europe all the way back to this state, I’d try my best to get first class just because I don’t want my butt to be dead when I get home. So I do think it’s mean of her filthy rich parents to maker her fly coach.
He gets ready, and wears “that tie” so that she knows he wants sex. As if she could forget. And as if he has any variety in his wardrobe.
He gets to the school and the chancellor’s secretary shows him to a small room. We don’t call them secretaries anymore since that’s no longer PC. It implies a woman, which is bad these days, and so we now say the more neutral “assistant.”
Meet Holly Clarke.
Oh snap. Kate’s in the room. She’s walking confidently, the way only the “well-heeled” can. Good to know we plebs can’t be confident. He’s also surprised to find out she’s valedictorian. How the ever-loving hell can someone be in charge of the graduation ceremony without knowing who the valedictorian is? He immediately demands to know about Ana, and…
I’m relieved that Ana is in one piece, but pissed that she hasn’t replied to any of my messages.
It’s not a good sign.
It’s so meta.
Together they walk into the ceremony, and the entire auditorium rises to clap for him. It’s not like he’s this guy.
But we’re supposed to think he is.
Once the chancellor begins his welcome address I’m able to scan the room. The front rows are filled with students, in identical black-and-red WSU robes. Where is she? Methodically I inspect each row.
There you are.
I find her huddled in the second row. She’s alive. I feel foolish for expending so much anxiety and energy on her whereabouts last night and this morning. Her brilliant blue eyes are wide as they lock with mine, and she shifts in her seat, a slow flush coloring her cheeks.
Yes. I’ve found you. And you haven’t replied to my messages. She’s avoiding me and I’m pissed. Really pissed. Closing my eyes, I imagine dripping hot wax onto her breasts and her squirming beneath me. This has a radical effect on my body.
I’m pretty sure Steve Jobs didn’t walk on stage and start thinking about fucking one of the students.
Oh! Remember, Ana’s free to go when she wants! And the stupid, stupid fans of this book don’t see how she’s not free. She knows he’s mad. She can’t leave. She’s too scared.
Grey somewhat listens to Kate’s speech, and wonders how someone confident like Kate can possibly be friends with a shy girl, like Ana. He really doesn’t like Ana having friends.
Grey gives his speech, and it’s so boring that I’m not going to bother summarizing it. All you need to know is Mr. Modest makes sure to inform people that he’s richer than they are while talking about poverty.
As I sit down to rousing applause, I resist looking at Ana and examine the WSU banner hanging at the back of the auditorium. If she wants to ignore me, fine. Two can play at that game.
She spent the morning getting ready and some time with her dad. How dare the whore talk to another man, I guess.
Diplomas are handed out, and when Ana’s name is called, right there on stage, where she’s already looking worried, and right in front of the chancellor, he lets her know he’s pissed she didn’t reply, and isn’t the computer working? Why didn’t she reply to him? See? There are strings. Ana doesn’t know what email he’s talking about.
“Later.” I let her know that we’re not finished with this conversation as she moves on.
The chancellor should have kicked his sorry ass off the stage.
I’m in purgatory by the time we’ve reached the end of the line. I’ve been ogled, and had eyelashes batted at me, silly giggling girls squeezing my hand, and five notes with phone numbers pressed into my palm.
Yeah, because Washington girls just can’t keep our pants on. We’re a bunch of whore-bags too. I don’t know many people in Washington who are fans of these books. I can think of exactly one person by name, who both lives in this state, and likes these books.
Afterward, the chancellor, whose name is Emile Netzhammer
makes it know how pleased he is with the guy who made sure to clearly let a student know he’s pissed off at her while on stage. Grey accosts Kate to demand he tell her where Ana is. Kate’s worried about Ana. Grey doesn’t care. He doesn’t care whose watching as he storms to Ana, yanks her by her arm, and shoved her into a locker room.
Locking the door, I turn to face Miss Steele. “Why haven’t you e-mailed me? Or texted me back?” I demand.
She blinks a couple of times, consternation writ large on her face. “I haven’t looked at my computer today, or my phone.” She seems genuinely bewildered by my outburst.
She should be learning by now that he is volatile and dangerous. And other people should be trying to get into the room where an openly-angry man just physically forced a scared girl into another room that was then locked.
He tells her he’s just worried because she drove home in her shameful poor-person car. He tacks on, in thought, and he was worried she wouldn’t willingly give him the sex he’d take anyway.
Ana tries to reassure him that Jose regularly services the car, which used to be his mother’s, and Grey starts YELLING at her that it “probably her mother and her mother before her. It’s not safe.”
Older cars are generally safe. Solidly built. They get crap for gas mileage most of the time, but that wasn’t the worry. His concern, though, isn’t the general safety of an older car. It’s that it’s old. Old things are bad, and worthless.
Right then and there, he tells her she MST give him an answer. She’s flustered, but to be “nice” to he, he’ll give her tomorrow. And since no “no” means “yes,” he takes it, for the time being, as him still owning her.
And decides she’s going to introduce him to her dad. She’s not comfortable with it. But, as usual, he doesn’t care one bit about her.
I open the door and follow her out but stop when I reach the chancellor and his colleagues. As one they turn and stare at Miss Steele, but she’s disappearing into the auditorium. They turn back to me.
Miss Steele and I are none of your business, people.
I give the chancellor a brief, polite nod and he asks if I’ll come and meet more of his colleagues and enjoy some canapés.
Yes, Miss Steele and you ARE their business. You are an open threat to one of the students. Netzhammer should have kicked you out long before this. At least the chancellor buys Ana half an hour of peace.
Grey gets away and stalks Ana. He sees Kate’s brother with her, and I’m surprised he didn’t beat Ana black and blue right there. He’s FURIOUS she, who hasn’t said “no,” which means she’s saying “yes,” is daring to talk to someone else with a penis.
Ana glances up, sees him, and gets really pale.