Christian upgraded Ana’s flight (and she was shocked), so now she’s flying to visit her mother in Georgia in style. Looking at the little bar on the bottom of my Kindle screen, this is a LONG chapter. And Christian isn’t even going to be in it! I don’t know why I bother.

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

50 Shades of Grey
Chapter 22

I am manicured, massaged, and I’ve had two glasses of champagne. The first class lounge has many redeeming features.

Good lord, what airline is this?!

I shall email him from the plane. It will be safer.

WHY?

…he could have asked me or told me. Not made me look like a complete klutz at check-in.

Oh yeh, the check-in guy was definitely thinking, ‘A mysterious stranger has upgraded this woman to first class. She must be an idiot.’

The seat next to her is unoccupied and she has a brief freak-out that Christian might turn up to surprise her. He doesn’t. God damn it.

The plane jolts as it pulls away from the gate, and I breathe a sigh of relief…

I have NEVER breathed a sigh of relief during TAKE OFF.

Surreptitiously, so the flight attendant can’t see, I type a reply under the blanket.

Jesus Christ! Stop! You’re going to make the plane crash!
(Please note: I have a morbid fear of flying and once believed that my watching the wing was the only thing keeping us airborne. Really.)

Christian and Ana continue to email each other for a bit. Christian points out that she’s risking everybody’s lives (I know, usually I’d take the piss out of this because it’s probably not true, but planes are fucking scary, man.).

…soon I’m drifting off to sleep. … The flight attendant wakes me as we start our descent into Atlanta.

Fearless bitch.

To keep myself awake, I start a long stream-of-consciousness e-mail to Christian on my laptop.

Never has a sentence struck my soul with such dread.
(Except, perhaps, ‘We’re currently flying around a tornado in the South China Sea.’ Yes, really.)

I am completely caught up in your spell, considering a lifestyle with you that I didn’t even know existed until last week…

Has it only been a WEEK?!

I won’t even bother to paraphrase her long email, because it’s all the bullshit we’ve heard before.

“So, Ana … tell me about this man who has you in such a spin.”
Spin! How can she tell? … I blanch at the thought.

She can probably tell because you’re blanching all over the place.

“He’s very complicated and mercurial.”

Hi, mom, this is my boyfriend. He’s a volatile, damaged man. Shake hands.

“Men aren’t really complicated, Ana, honey. They are very simple, literal creatures.”

Just when you thought all the sexism in this book was directed against women.

I gaze at my mom. She is on her fourth marriage. Maybe she does know something about men after all.

Or maybe she doesn’t.

My real dad, this mythical man I never knew, snatched so cruelly from us in a combat training accident when he was a marine.

I feel like maybe this should have been mentioned before.

I’ve just realised why this chapter’s so long. Because Christian and Ana are going to spend the whole time emailing each other, and EL James always includes ‘From’, ‘Subject’, ‘Date’, and ‘To’ lines in every email. Anyway, Christian replies with an even LONGER email, basically telling her he wants to buy her shit and sleep with her, and that she should get over it.

I’ll repeat this – you are the one with all the power. Not I. … I can’t touch you if you say no.

It’s been said a thousand times, but it’s worth repeating how sensible Christian is compared to Ana.

My mom wakes me, and I’m wrapped around my laptop, hugging it to me.

It’s not the first time she’s been wrapped around a hard, Grey object. Am I right?

Hmm, Christian and reasonable … two concepts that I thought were mutually exclusive…

Because he has done nothing but try to explain things rationally to your addled brain?

I have brought Kate’s grey halter-neck dress that I wore for my graduation.

BUY YOUR OWN CLOTHES.

They start having email-sex! ‘I would rather you unzipped it.’ ‘SO WOULD I.’ ‘Slowly…’ But then Ana’s mum calls her and it’s all over. Boo.

“Why are you wearing Kate’s dress?”
Oh … no.

There seems to be some reason that Ana doesn’t want her mother to know she’s wearing Kate’s clothes. I don’t know what it is.

“I’ll take you shopping tomorrow,” she says.
“Oh, Mom, you don’t need to do that. I have plenty of clothes.”

1)      No, you don’t.
2)      It seems the secret reason is that Ana doesn’t want her mother to take her shopping, because she has a chronic inability to accept anything from anyone.

More fucking emailing happens.

“How was dinner?”
“Dinner was filling.”
“I am glad to hear you are eating.”

Become erotic quickly or I’m leaving.

I thought I had a more concupiscent effect on you.

This means ‘filled with sexual desire’ (I googled it). General rule of thumb for dirty talk: if it sends your other half running to find a dictionary, leave it out.

After racing through the short emails, loaded with superfluous framing information I can skip, returning to a full page of text saps a little from my soul. Christian is going to have dinner with an ‘old friend’, ie: his ex-Dom.

Why can’t he see her for what she is – a child molester? How dare she? How dare she pick on a vulnerable adolescent? Is she still doing it? Why did they stop? …is she married? Divorced? … does she have children of her own? Does she have Christian’s children?

I don’t think you’ve asked enough questions.

I hit Google images and enter “Christian Grey” into the search engine.

Aww, she’s googling him. It must be love.

His only picture with a woman, and it’s me.
Holy cow! I’m on Google!

Which, if you’d ever USED THE INTERNET BEFORE, you’d know isn’t a big achievement.

I gaze at him, such a beautiful face, a beautiful face that could be staring at Mrs. Damned Robinson right now.

Well then, you’d better cut off that beautiful face and keep it forever, so NOBODY ELSE CAN EVER LOOK AT IT.

And my period has started, so I must remember to take my pill in the morning.

Thanks for sharing.

I quickly program an alarm into the calendar on my Blackberry.

What, that useless piece of technology you insisted you didn’t want?

Christian emails, confirming that he did have dinner with Mrs. Robinson.

How could he? I am away for two days, and he runs off to that evil bitch.

Getting the impression Ana maybe doesn’t like her.

She sends him a psycho email. He replies.

“How many Cosmopolitans are you going to drink?”
Holy fuck, he’s here.

Of course he is. I bet he travelled first class too. Shocker.

- gildius -

Read Chapter Twenty 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.

About abusive relationships
Domestic violence helpline 0808 2000 247
Help for abused men 0808 801 0327

About eating disorders
Eating disorder helpline 0845 634 1414