50 Shades of Grey – Chapter Two

The epic saga of Anastasia Steele’s pitiful life continues. In today’s instalment we see her after leaving Grey House, racking her tiny brain about what has just happened, as she recovers from the draining experience of meeting an attractive man.

Read Chapter One.
Read the whole thing on ‘The Fifty Shades Saga‘ page.

50 Shades of Grey – Chapter Two

I scramble out as soon as the doors slide open, stumbling once but fortunately not sprawling onto the immaculate sandstone floor.

You’re like a recently birthed colt. Just walk, like you’ve managed to do for 22 years.

I valiantly attempt to calm down…

Back off, we’ll decide whether you’re valiant or not. And I’m leaning towards not.

An involuntary shiver runs down my spine.

Unlike all those voluntary shivers.

He doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

Cliché bingo!

Again, I’m irritated that Kate didn’t give me a brief biography.

Thanks for reminding me. I’d forgotten that we hate that selfish cow.

Shaking my head, I realise that Grey’s more like a man twice his age.

Or you’re more like a woman half yours. Also, stop shaking your head.

As I hit Interstate 5, I realize I can drive as fast as I want.

Jesus, he just said “drive carefully”, he did not take your autonomy.

I know Kate is going to want a blow-by-blow account, and she is tenacious.

Blow by blow. Ha.

…[Kate is] still in her pink flannel pajamas … the ones she reserves for the aftermath of breaking up with boyfriends, for assorted illnesses, and for general moody depression.

Ah yes, we all have them: depression pyjamas. Mine have a built in tissue dispenser, and refrigerated pockets for the storage of Ben and Jerrys.

Oh no – here we go, the Katherine Kavanagh Inquisition.

God, Kate wants to know what happened at the interview she would have conducted if she hadn’t chosen to be sick. Selfish trollop.

“I can still make my shift at Clayton’s.”
“Ana, you’ll be exhausted.”
“I’ll be fine.”

Yes you will, wonderful, gracious, self-sacrificing Ana. Your ungrateful friends don’t deserve you.

I’m crap at any DIY. I leave all that to my dad.

Yes well, you only work at a hardware store. Nobody expects you to remember anything about the stuff you sell. Leave it to the men. Worry about your ridiculous hair.

I’m glad I can make my shift as it gives me something to focus on that isn’t Christian Grey.

What about anything from your hitherto rich and varied life as an educated modern woman? Hmm, I guess he did look really good in his suit though.

She sends me to the storeroom to start restocking shelves, and I’m soon absorbed in the task.

Nothing like moving boxes around to fill a woman’s mind.

When I arrive home later, Katherine is … concentrating and typing furiously. I’m thoroughly drained…

Kate is ill and still writing a story. Ana is mentally exhausted from stacking shelves and having a chat.

…all the studying I haven’t done today because I was holed up with … him.

Hole.

I flush, and my heart rate inexplicably increases.

I hate when characters constantly describe their heart rates. Find a more original way to convey excitement, please.

I realize I’m biting my lip, and I hope Kate doesn’t notice.

She doesn’t. Few people give as much of a fuck about the minutiae of your body as you do.

She glances up at me speculatively. I make a hasty retreat into the kitchen.

Where you belong.

I start gathering the makings of a sandwich…

She’s in the kitchen making a sandwich. But the sandwich is for her so it’s not a sexist cliché.

I work on my essay on Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Damn, that woman was in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong century.

A cutting and astute analysis. A+.

By Wednesday, she’s much better, and I no longer have to endure the sight of her pink-flannel-with-too-many-rabbits PJs.

Bloody Kate and her unbearable  clothing. Oh Ana, how you do suffer.

I call my mom in Georgia to check on her, but also so she can wish me luck on my final exams.

Attention seeking, much?

Fundamentally, she’s bored and wants something to occupy her time, but she has the attention span of a goldfish.

Seems to run in the family.

And I hope Bob – her relatively new but much older husband – is keeping an eye on her now that I’m no longer there.

Oh God, apparently feminism is a thing that never happened.

“Ana? Have you met someone?”
Wow … how does she do that?

Because, apparently, both of you think about nothing but the men you meet.

“Mom, I’m fine. How’s Bob?” As ever, distraction is the best policy.

Should be easy too. Just tell her bears shit in the woods and listen to her head explode.

She eventually stops talking to her mother. There’s a knock at the door.

Standing on our doorstep is my good friend José clutching a bottle of champagne.

Oh no, I have a sinking feeling José is going to turn out to be in love with Anastasia. This is based upon my knowledge of pure cliché. I pray that I’m wrong.

José and I are good friends, but I know deep down inside he’d like to be more.

Called it. Poor, stupid José. He’s in love with a prat.

Katherine often teases me that I’m missing the need-a-boyfriend gene.

Not short on the slightly-slow-and-a-bit-of-an-imbecile gene though.

Perhaps I’ve spent too long in the company of my literary romantic heroes and consequently my ideals and expectations are far too high.

Shame you haven’t applied the same ideals to your own character. Boo hoo, real people aren’t like people in books. You’re a grown woman: please distinguish reality from fiction. It is possible to live both inside and outside books.

I wince at the memory.

I bet José loves you for your peculiar facial tics.

I know I’ve dreamed about [Grey] most nights since then, but that’s just to purge the awful experience from my system, surely.

No. Obviously not. It is because you fancy him. Are you dense? Oh wait, yes. Yes you are.

Saturday at the store is a nightmare. We are besieged by do-it-yourselfers wanting to spruce up their homes.

Bastards. Coming to a DIY shop and expecting customer service.

I glance up … and find myself locked into the bold gray gaze of Christian Grey … Heart failure.

I have spent many minutes trying to think of a way to adequately express my disgust at this brief second sentence. Words escape me. I can only hope her heart has literally failed.

What the hell is he doing here, looking all outdoorsy with his tousled hair and in his cream chunky-knit sweater, jeans, and walking boots?

What colour are his socks? Is he wearing a belt with his jeans? More detail, please!

I think my mouth has popped open, and I can’t locate my brain or my voice.

She doesn’t even know if her mouth is hanging open. E.L. James, you’re making this too easy for me.

His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel … or something.

Dear E.L. James, did you go and make a coffee? I believe you were writing a book – could you please concentrate and finish your sentences? Much appreciated, your readership.

I shake my head to gather my wits.

No, you don’t.

Finally my cognitive functions are restored and reconnected with the rest of my body.

I think you come across much better without them. More eloquent.

Christian asks for cable ties.

Cable ties?

Yes. Those things you sell. Sell them to him, then you’ll get paid, and you’ll be doing what’s commonly known as a job.

…I’m concentrating hard on not falling over my own feet…

Don’t think too hard, you need to have some brain power left for finding the cable ties.

With my heart almost strangling me – because it’s in my throat trying to escape from my mouth…

Thanks for explaining. Now I can be certain that you’re talking sheer nonsense.

And from a tiny, very unused part of my brain…

Tiny. Really?

…probably located at the base of my medulla oblongata near where my subconscious dwells…

Stop doing science. You’ll hurt yourself.

…my subconscious sneers at me, loud, proud, and pouty.

Anastasia’s subconscious is almost as much of a bitch as Kate.

Organized group activities aren’t really my thing, Mr. Grey.

More into disorganised, one on one activities, am I right?

Try to be cool, Ana, my tortured subconscious begs on bended knee.

Your tortured subconscious has a penchant for pointless drama.

Grey asks her what sort of books she likes.

“Oh, you know. The usual. The classics. British literature, mainly.”

Brilliantly specific. This is a woman who knows what she likes.

“You wouldn’t want to ruin your clothing.”
“I could always take them off.”

Yes, for God’s sake get naked. Anything to make this stilted conversation stop.

Grey smiles and…

…the Earth shifts slightly on its axis, the tectonic plates sliding into a new position.

No it doesn’t and no they don’t.

Paul, the shop owner’s brother, turns up. Yet another guy who seems to have an inexplicable crush on Anastasia. Grey doesn’t like it and takes his leave.

“Oh – and Anastasia, I’m glad Miss Kavanagh couldn’t do the interview.”

Don’t say things like this to her, she might wet herself.

…leaving me a quivering mass of raging female hormones.

Told you. Damn all those irrational female hormones. What she needs is some nice, sensible male hormones to calm her down.

Okay – I like him. There, I’ve admitted it to myself.

About time you bloody ridiculous human being. It is not a crime to fancy someone.


Read Chapter Three.

Why not let me know what you think? You can buy the first book here, or the entire trilogy, if you’re a glutton for punishment. Ironically.

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6 Comments on “50 Shades of Grey – Chapter Two

  1. Have you ever noticed how ‘Tess of the D’Ubervilles’ translates as ‘Tess of the of Ubervilles’?

  2. Still brilliant Clare.
    You’re very funny.

    But,

    like Ann Lisbeth I’ve been worrying about the talking to the mirror thing. Mary Enderby [the main character in my story about a bus finding itself in China (because she made a wish)] does it in great detail at the beginning of the tale. I hadn’t realised it was such a cliche.

    • Don’t worry! It’s quite a common technique, but when it’s done well it’s not a problem. For example, it was in the book I’m currently reading, which I’m really enjoying!
      Don’t forget that 50 Shades is dreadful and I dislike most of what James does. The mirror thing is just one of a million examples which, when added together, show that she lacks any original thought. In a good writer it can be effective, in one already so mired in horrible writing it is just another stumbling block.

  3. Bravo bravo. Tess of the D’urbevilles! How on the same wave length am I with this book I’ve never read? I’m sure if Ana was born in the future she wouldn’t be forced into behaving like such a prat… I almost couldn’t finish reading this time because she was annoying me so much with her crappy self analysis. However, I revived when you said you hoped her heart had really failed :)

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