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

Hardin is on his feet immediately. I grab his arm to stop him, but he shakes me off easily. I quickly set my glass of wine on the side table and get up. “Hardin, stop!” I beg and grab hold of his arm again.

Everything was going well. Awkward, but well. And then Hardin had to go and make a rude remark. I know he’s angry at his father for his mistakes, but Christmas dinner is not the time to bring this up. Hardin and Ken had begun to repair their relationship, and if Hardin doesn’t stop now, it will get much worse.

Ken stands up with an air of authority and asks, much like a professor might, “I thought we were moving past this. You came to the wedding?” They’re only feet away from each other, and I know this will not end well.

“Moving past what? You haven’t even owned up to anything! You’re just pretending that it didn’t happen!”

Hardin is yelling now. My head is swimming, and I wish I had never extended Landon’s invite to Hardin and Trish. Once again I’ve caused a family argument.

“Today is not the day for us to be discussing this, Hardin. We’re having a nice time, and you had to go and start a fight with me,” Ken says.

Hardin asks, raising his hands in the air, “When is the day, then? God, can you believe this guy!”

“Not Christmas. I haven’t seen your mother in years, and this is the time you choose to bring all of this up?”

“You haven’t seen her in years because you fucking left! You left us with nothing—no fucking money, no car, nothing!” Hardin shouts and steps into his father’s face.

Ken’s face gets red with anger. And then he’s yelling. “No money? I sent money every month! A lot of money! And your mum wouldn’t accept the car that I offered her!”

“Liar!” Hardin blows out a hard breath. “You didn’t send shit. That’s why we lived in that crap house and she worked fifty hours a week!”

“Hardin . . . he isn’t lying,” Trish interjects.

Hardin’s head snaps around to his mother. “What?”

This is a disaster. A much bigger disaster than I saw coming.

“He sent money, Hardin,” she explains. She puts her glass down and comes over to him.

“Where is the money, then?” Hardin asks his mother, disbelief clear in his tone.

“Paying your tuition.”

Hardin points an angry finger at Ken. “You said he was paying the tuition!” he yells, and my heart aches for him.

“He is—with the money that I’ve saved over the years. Money that he sent us.”

“What the fuck?” Hardin rubs his forehead with his hand. I move to stand behind him and thread my fingers through his free hand.

Trish puts a hand on her son’s shoulder. “I didn’t use all of it for your tuition. I paid the bills as well.”

“Why wouldn’t you tell me this? He should be paying it—and not with money that was meant to keep us fed, keep us in a house day to day.” He turns to his father. “You still left us, whether you sent money or not! You just left without so much as a fucking call on my goddamned birthday.”