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After We Collided (After, #2) by Anna Todd Read Online (FREE)

“You will not tell me what I will or will not do,” I snap.

He sighs and wraps his fingers in his hair, tugging hard at the roots. “Fine . . . fine . . . Let me go, then. You stay here.”

I want to argue, but I really don’t want to leave. I’ve had enough of hotel rooms, and tomorrow is Christmas.

“I’ll be back in the morning . . . unless you need more time,” he says. He puts his shoes on and reaches for the key rack before realizing that his mother has taken his car.

“Take mine,” I say.

He nods and walks toward me. “Don’t,” I say and bring my hands up in front of me. “And you’re in your pajamas still.”

He frowns and looks down, but walks into the bedroom and emerges two minutes later fully dressed. He stops to look me in the eyes. “Please remember that I love you, and I have changed,” he says once more before leaving me alone in the apartment.

 

chapter forty-two

TESSA

What the hell am I going to do?

I walk to the bedroom and sit on the edge of the bed. I’m sick to my stomach from all of this. I knew Hardin wasn’t a good person before, and I knew there would be some more things that I wouldn’t be happy to hear, but of all the things I thought Trish could be referring to, this never, ever crossed my mind. He violated that girl in a terrible, deplorable way, and he had no remorse—he still barely does.

I try to breathe in and out slowly as tears spill down my cheeks. The worst part to me is knowing her name. It’s kind of fucked up, but if she was just some anonymous girl, I could almost pretend that she didn’t exist. Knowing that her name is Natalie opens up too many thoughts. What does she look like? What did she plan to study in college before Hardin took her scholarship from her? Does she have any brothers or sisters? Did they see the tape? If Trish hadn’t brought this up, would I have ever known?

How many times did they have sex? Did Hardin like it? . . . Of course he did. It’s sex, and obviously Hardin was having a lot of it. With other girls. Lots of other girls. Did he stay the night with Natalie after? Why do I feel jealous of Natalie? I should feel sorry for her, not envy her for touching Hardin. I push this sick thought out of my mind and go back to thinking about the type of person Hardin really is.

I should have had him stay to talk it out; I always leave or, in this case, make him leave. The problem is that his presence washes away every ounce of restraint I should have.

I wish I knew what happened to Natalie after Hardin demolished her life. If she’s happy now and leading a good life, I’d feel better, slightly. I wish I had a friend to talk about all of this with, someone to give me advice. Even if I did, I wouldn’t divulge Hardin’s indiscretion. I do not want anyone to know what he has done to these girls. I know how foolish it is to want to protect him when he doesn’t deserve it, but I can’t help it. I don’t want anyone to think any worse of him, and mostly I don’t want him to think any worse of himself than he already does.