‘After’ is a romance novel filled with quotes, quotes that perfectly describe the feelings of hate, love, betrayal, desire, the will to hold on to the past, and the strife for freedom. Each character in ‘After‘ has a struggle, a need to achieve or feel something, and their words bring to life their deepest desires.
No. I don’t love him . . . he is . . . well . . . he’s a jerk. I have known him less than two months, and half of that . . . actually all of that time we have spent fighting. You can’t love someone you only met two months ago. Besides, he’s a jerk.
The main character Tessa desperately tries to deny her feeling for Hardin here. Though she knew there was definitely something she felt for him, she still tried to lie to herself that it was all a charade and her feelings for Hardin were only momentary.
I love you, Hardin. This is the first time we have both openly said the words, and I fight down my urge to panic over the possibility that he could take them back again. Even if he does, I will always have the memory of how they sounded, how they made me feel.
This is where Tessa finally admits her feelings, something she had been ignoring and fighting, the feeling that she was madly in love with the one person she hated, despised, and weirdly felt intensely attracted to. Though she desperately tried to hold back, to convince herself her desire for Hardin was all a charade, she couldn’t and ended up giving in to her feelings.
Wanting to be Free
For a moment I find myself wishing I was someone else, someone braver. Like Steph. If I was Steph, I would strip down and jump into the warm water with Hardin. I would splash around and climb up the bank just to jump back and soak him. I would be fun and carefree.
From Tessa’s statement, one can feel the desperation in her voice. Tessa knew that she had to make something better out of her life, but occasionally she had found herself wishing for something else. This statement perfectly describes what she had always wanted; freedom.
I think this is the real you and that you’re just too busy caring what everyone else thinks about you to realize it.
Here, Hardin makes Tessa realizes that she had a desire to be free, a desire she had locked up and replaced with a lifestyle of being stereotypical about everything. Hardin makes Tessa realize just how free she feels when around him. This feeling will lead Tessa to begin a struggle with those who she feels are against her freedom, a decision she later regrets.
It’s fine, really. That’s who you are; that’s what you do. You find people’s weakness and you exploit it. You use it to your advantage.
Tessa felt sad and betrayed by Hardin’s words. She trusted him not to hurt her feelings, but he did by making fun of her and her father’s action of him leaving both her and her mother.
I know I should be saying something, anything, but I can’t find my voice. Everything is still moving around me; people in the bar are eating and drinking, not noticing the naïve girl ten feet away from them having her heart shattered.
Here, Tessa just starts realizing the truth she had always had a hint about but snubbed. Tessa had just realized that her love, choices, and feelings were all for nothing as Hardin explained how their relationship was originally a setup.
You ruined everything. You took something from me that wasn’t yours, Hardin. That was meant for someone who loved me, loved me truthfully. It was his, whoever he is, and you took that.
Tessa felt utterly devastated as she had just discovered that her entire relationship with Hardin was nothing but a lie, a bet to get her. Not knowing what to do and completely heartbroken, Tessa felt like the whole world had betrayed her, but worst of all, she felt that the only one person she had given her all, the only one person she had tarnished her relationships for, had stabbed her in the back.
Holding On To The Past
As I watch him sleep, he appears so much younger now that I know about his childhood, which seems like it was mostly happy until his father’s alcoholism poisoned it, creating the angry Hardin of today.
Tessa finally realizes that Hardin’s entire character and behavior are defined based on his past. She had a hint when she had felt the rift between him and his father, but after he revealed everything to her, Tessa finally understood that Hardin was a boy tormented by a past he never wanted to let go of, a past that he let shape his entire life.
Does Hardin forgive his father in ‘After‘?
No, Though Hardin’s anger toward his father subsided, he did not really forgive him. Tessa was able to improve the relationship Hardin had with his father.
Why does Hardin hurt Tessa?
Hardin hurts the people around him due to his incapability to see the effect of his words and action on others. Though this serves as a coping mechanism for him, it hurts Tessa greatly.
Did Hardin truly love Tessa?
Based on facts, yes, Hardin indeed loves Tessa. However, because she learned about the bet, Tessa felt like he had been playing her all along and didn’t feel a thing for her.
Does Tessa love Hardin?
Yes, she does. Tessa loved Hardin with all she had and fought almost everyone she had always known for him.
Which quote is the best in ‘After‘?
The best quote in ‘After‘ will be the quote on betrayal where Tessa poured out her entire emotions to Hardin. She felt broken and torn and let it all out.