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

“Oh yeah, she’s a bitch. I’ll say it for you.” She laughs, and I join in.

TRISH COOKS CHICKEN TACOS for dinner, and we make small talk about Christmas, the weather, and everything else except what is actually on my mind: Hardin.

Eventually, I feel like it’s literally killing me not to call him and tell him to come home now.

“Do you think he’s ‘stirred’ long enough?” I say, not admitting that I’ve been counting the minutes.

“No, but it’s not my choice,” his mother says.

“I have to.”

I leave the kitchen to call Hardin. When he answers, the surprise in his voice is evident. “Tessa?”

“Hardin, we still have a lot to discuss, but I would like it if you could come home so we can talk.”

“Already? Yeah—yeah, of course!” He rushes the words. “I’ll be there shortly.”

“Okay,” I say and hang up. I don’t have much time to go over everything in my head before he arrives. I need to stand my ground and make sure that he knows what he did is wrong but that I love him anyway.

I pace back and forth across the chilled concrete floor, waiting. After what seems like an hour, the front door opens, and I listen as his boots thud down the small hallway.

When he opens the bedroom door, my heart breaks for the thousandth time.

His eyes are swollen and bloodshot. He doesn’t say anything. Instead, he walks over and places a small object in my hand. Paper?

I look up at him as he closes my fist around the folded-up paper. “Read it before you make up your mind,” he says softly. Then, with a swift kiss to my temple, he goes into the living room.


chapter forty-three


As I unfold the paper, my eyes widen in surprise. The entirety of the sheet is covered with black scribbles, front and back. It’s a letter—a handwritten letter from Hardin.

I’m almost afraid to read it . . . but I know that I must.


Since I’m not good with words when trying to relate my inner life, I may have stolen some from Mr. Darcy, whom you fancy so much. I write without any intention of paining you, or humbling myself, by dwelling on wishes which, for the happiness of both, cannot be too soon forgotten: and the effort which the formation and the perusal of this letter must occasion, should have been spared had not my character required it to be written and read. You must, therefore, pardon the freedom with which I demand your attention; your feelings, I know, will bestow it unwillingly, but I demand it of your justice . . .

I know that I’ve done so many fucked-up things to you, and that I in no way deserve you, but I’m asking—no, begging—you to please look past the things that I have done. I know I ask too much of you, always, and I’m sorry for that. If I could take it all back, I would. I know you are angry and disappointed by my actions, and that kills me. Instead of making excuses for the way I am, I’m going to tell you about me, the me that you never knew. I’m starting with the shit I remember—I’m sure there is more, but I swear not to purposely hide anything else from you from this day forth. When I was around nine, I stole my neighbor’s bike and broke the wheel, then lied about it. That same year I threw a baseball through the living room window and lied about it. You know about my mother and the soldiers. My father left shortly after, and I was glad when he did.