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

I lie back against the pillows and stare up at the ceiling. I just got over . . . well, was working on getting over Hardin using me to win a bet—and now this? Natalie, plus four other girls, since he said she was week five. Then Dan’s sister. This is a cycle with him, this is what he does—will he be able to stop doing it? What would have happened to me if he hadn’t fallen in love with me?

I know that he loves me—he truly does love me. I know that.

And I do love him despite all the mistakes he makes, and has made in the past. I’ve seen changes in him, even in the course of the last week. He has never expressed his feelings about me the way he did today. I just wish that his beautiful declaration hadn’t been followed by such an ugly revelation.

He said that I’m his only shot at happiness, I’m the only chance that he has to not spend the entirety of his life alone. What a heavy statement. What a true statement. No one will ever love him the way I do. Not because he’s not worth loving, but because no one will ever know him the way that I do. Did. Still do? I can’t decide, but I want to believe I know him, the true him. Who he is now is not the person he was just a few months ago.

Despite the pain he’s caused me, he has also done a lot to prove himself to me. He has made a huge effort to be the person I need him to be. He can change; I’ve seen him change. Half of me thinks that it may be time for me to take some of the blame here—not for what he did to Natalie, but for being so hard on him when change takes time and nobody can erase their past. What he did was wrong, so incredibly wrong, but sometimes I forget that he’s an angry, lonely man who up until now has never loved anyone. He loves his mother, in his manner, if not the same way that people usually love their parents.

The other half of me is tired. Tired of this cycle with Hardin. In the beginning of our relationship, it was a constant back-and-forth, with him being cruel, then nice, then cruel again. Now the cycle has evolved somewhat, but it’s worse. Much worse. I leave him, then come back, then leave him again. I cannot keep doing this—we cannot keep doing this. If there’s anything else that he’s hiding, it will break me—I’m barely holding myself together now. I can’t take any more secrets, any more heartache, any more breakups. I always used to have everything planned—every detail of my life was calculated, overanalyzed, until Hardin. He’s completely turned my life upside down, often in a negative way. And yet he’s also made me happier than I have ever been.

We need to be together and try to move past all of the terrible things he’s done, or I need to end things and keep them that way. If I leave him, I need to move away from here, far away. I need to leave behind every reminder of my life with him or I’ll never be able to move on.