After the contract debacle that was chapter eleven, this book could only get worse if Christian and Ana spent the whole chapter eating live kittens. Fortunately this does not happen. In fact, as I started off chapter 12 I was pleasantly surprised.
Anastasia Steele decides to go for a run to clear her mind. Easy peasy, her mind is practically empty anyway. She should have been jogging all this time – it apparently brings more oxygen to her brain. Because all of a sudden Ana starts thinking like a mature adult. Sort of.
She points out to no one in particular that she has researched this type of contract, and knows it’s not enforceable. Hooray! Ana knows a thing! I was worried there for a moment. Ana decides to go through the contract, line by line, and set out exactly what she can agree to. Excellent. Then Ana plans to email Christian and give him a piece of her mind (but just a little piece honey, there isn’t much of it).
Not bad for the first page or so, eh? It’s as if E. L. James looked around and said, “This book makes no effing sense. What was I thinking?” How could this chapter possibly go wrong after such an auspicious start?
What? I’m just saying.
And then everything goes all face-palmy. Ana suddenly gets all why-is-he-so-broken, and wonders vaguely about his messed-up early sex life. And just as suddenly she forgets about it. Who cares? That’s his therapist’s problem, amirite?
She jogs home and for no apparent reason emails Christian to say she never wants to talk to him again. What. The flying. Fuck. Is she on crack? “Okay, I’ve seen enough,” she writes. “It was nice knowing you.” She seems to think that this is a fun joke to play on an overly-serious control-freaky creeper. This would be a much better book if she sent that message and actually meant it. Because Christian is about to sink to a whole new level of douchebaggery.
Ana hits ‘send’ and minutes later Christian walks into her bedroom as if from nowhere. Ana thinks, “Damn Kate for letting him in here with no warning.” With a guy this rich and crazy to boot, Ana ought to be thinking more along the lines of, “what has he done with Kate’s body?” But Ana seems to have no inherent sense of self-preservation. Or anything else. Sigh.
Christian is wearing his grey flannel pants and white linen shirt. The same ones he wears in every goddamn scene. For the love of Mike, E. L. James, he’s obscenely wealthy but he only has one outfit?! Is he really a ‘toon in disguise? Does he have a closet full of identical pants and shirts? What happens if you sing Shave and a Haircut? This?
Ana, you’d better keep a vat of Dip on hand. Just in case he goes all Merrie Melodies on you.
What actually happens is much crappier. And creepier. It’s cra-eepier. Turns out, Christian is upset at Ana’s email, and has come to remind her how much she enjoyed the hawt secks they just had. And to let her know that unless she agrees to his terms, she won’t be getting any more. Classy!
Since Ana has trouble saying no to anyone, she lets Christian get her naked and tie her to the bed. Then Christian strips down and goes out to the kitchen to chat with Kate. They do eventually have the hawt secks. If by hawt, you mean creepy and emotional-blackmail-y. Which I do. Afterwards, Christian actually talks to Ana, finds out she was joking, and promptly leaves. But not before creating an icky aura of neediness. He’s breaking all his personal rules for her, dontchaknow?. Her ultra goody-goodness is warming his old husk of a heart.
I. Want. To. Barf.
Ana goes back to her room, has a good cry, and then emails Christian with her thoughts on the contract. Mostly they consist of “you want me to do X. Why? Whhyyyy?” To her credit Ana flat out refuses the list of prescribed foods. That is, in her own words, the dealbreaker. That’s the dealbreaker? Not the genital clamps? Or the anal fisting? You sure must like you some food Ana. Whatever.
Chapter 12 is at least mercifully short. I paged ahead and realised I’m not even halfway through this train wreck. Oh. My. God. And it contains the most unintentionally funny exchange so far. Ana tells Christian that she thinks his ego is just fine. He replies, “You think?” I know! It was a surprise to me too, Christian. It was a surprise to all of us.
So. On to chapter 13. Any minute now. Watch me go. Hooray.