In the previous installment of the After franchise (After Ever Happy), we had seen that Tessa and Hardin had separated after the former got to know that Hardin had written a book about them and got it published without taking her consent. It was Tessa’s life that everybody had become privy to, and she felt that her privacy had been violated. Hardin had thought that their story would help others like it had helped him, and it did not occur to him that Tessa would end up feeling bad about it. Hardin apologized to her, but Tessa was just done with him, and she wanted a break. Also, there was a lot happening in their lives that took a toll on them mentally, and that aggravated the situation even more. Hardin had come to know that Christian Vance was his biological father, and it all became too much to deal with for him. So let’s find out what happened in the fifth installment of the franchise, i.e., After Everything, and if Hardin and Tessa defy the odds and finally end up together.
What was Hardin up to?
After Tessa had left, Hardin was finding it hard to find any inspiration, and he just couldn’t concentrate on his work. Christian and Trish met their son, and the former told him that if he wanted the publishers to ease the deadline, then he could have a conversation with them. But Hardin didn’t want to take any help from anybody, and once again, he went on a self-destructive journey, from which he had come out after a lot of struggle. Tessa’s absence was eating him from within, and he was clearly not at peace with himself or with the world around him. He knew that he had nobody to blame for what he was going through and that it was all his doing. Hardin didn’t know how he should get out of the writer’s block or what he should do to find peace. He had started drinking once again, and he felt like he was stranded in a dark and dingy tunnel and that he would never be able to see the light again. Hardin’s mother told him that Nathalie, a girl he had met five years ago, was in Lisbon, and she had decided to make a fresh start. After hearing that piece of news, Hardin knew exactly what he should be doing, and in the hope of gathering himself and bringing his life back on track, he, too, left for Lisbon.
What had happened between Hardin and Nathalie in the past?
Hardin had done some really bad things in the past, and he also knew that he was a very toxic man who had hurt people. Nathalie had a crush on Hardin back in the day, though she never really expressed her feelings to him until he made a move on her. Hardin saw her for the first time when he was sitting with his friends, James and Landon. James challenged him that if he could get intimate with Nathalie, then he would return his father’s watch, which Hardin had given him after he lost in the game of cards they were playing just before she entered. Hardin took the bet, and he actually got really intimate with Nathalie and recorded the entire thing on his phone.
Hardin had thought that he would show the video to James, and then he would win the bet. But James ended up sending it to other people, and the video was uploaded online, ruining Nathalie’s life. Her entire life turned upside down because of what Hardin had done, and Nathalie hadn’t imagined, even in her wildest dreams, that he could break her trust like that. Nathalie had to ultimately leave town and go somewhere where people didn’t know her. Her scholarship was canceled, and she knew that she didn’t have the resources to be admitted into a college without that. Hardin felt sorry, but he didn’t realize the gravity of things back in the day. It was only after Tessa left that he realized what a blunder he had committed and how important it was to seek forgiveness from Nathalie. So, Hardin packed his bags and left for Lisbon, and he was mentally prepared to be bashed by the woman because he knew that he deserved it after what he had done.
Does Nathalie forgive Hardin?
Nathalie was such a kind-hearted and pure person that, after meeting her, Hardin felt even worse about what he had done. Nathalie was shocked when she saw Hardin in her outlet, and she told him to leave as she needed some time to process things. Nathalie did not act rudely, and she came to meet Hardin and told him how life had been for her after that incident. She was not only a beautiful human being inside and out, but she was also a strong woman who took the reins of her life into her own hands and decided not to surrender to her circumstances and start over again. She called him over to hang out with her friends, Madeline and Freya, and she told them that Hardin was her first crush. Hardin felt humbled and overwhelmed when he heard that, and he didn’t know what he had done to be loved by such a girl. One of Nathalie’s friends, Sebastian, didn’t like Hardin at all, and he made sure that Hardin knew that.
Nathalie had told Sebastian back in the day what had happened with her, and seeing Hardin, he knew that he was the guy who was behind it. One time, they were enjoying themselves on the beach when Sebastian lost his temper and entered into a fistfight with Hardin. Hardin got gravely injured, and he was arrested by the police for causing a ruckus in a public place. Things got aggravated, and Christian had to come to Lisbon to get his son released. Talking to his father really motivated Hardin to get his life back on track. He realized that he just could not waste his life, and he needed to write his second book, not to prove anything to anybody but just because he was a good storyteller and writing gave him a lot of happiness.
Hardin, after meeting Nathalie in After Everything, knew what the subject of his second book would be. He wrote about Nathalie, but before getting it published, he asked for her consent. Nathalie read the book, and she loved it. She told Hardin that he could go ahead and get it published. Nathalie had once taken Hardin sailing, and she had shown him this house on the cliff, which she wanted to buy one day. She said that if she stayed there, she would always wake up with a smile on her face. Nothing mattered to Hardin more than making Nathalie happy. He wanted to redeem himself and, for once, become the reason for someone’s happiness. Hardin, without telling Nathalie, bought that house and arranged for the keys to be sent to her once he had left Lisbon. Nathalie had forgiven Hardin a long time ago because she knew that life was too short to hold grudges. Her magnanimity moved Hardin, and he felt motivated to bring his life back to her and be a better person from hereon.
Do Hardin And Tessa End Up Together?
Landon and Nora were getting married, and Hardin went to attend their wedding. He knew that Tessa was going to be there and that he was going to see her after two years. Hardin couldn’t hide his feelings, and he told Tessa how apologetic he was to have told their story to the world without her consent. Tessa was done acting strong, and she was dying to be with her soul mate. After Hardin gave a speech for Landon and Nora, he went and found Tessa in one of the rooms, and they both ended up sharing a beautiful and romantic moment. Hardin proposed to Tessa, and she agreed right away, as even she could not see her life with anybody else.
In After Everything‘s ending, we see that a few years down the line, Hardin and Tessa get married, and they have a beautiful daughter, and Tessa is pregnant with their second baby. Hardin wrote more novels, became an accomplished writer, and probably left all his toxic traits behind. Life had been kind to him, and he got a chance to start afresh, and this time, Hardin knew that he was going to make the most of it. We hope that “Hessa” ended up having the life they had always imagined, and their bond kept getting stronger with time.