After We Collided (After, #2) by Anna Todd Read Online (FREE)
“This isn’t about free passes. Ask yourself this: What do you get out of being so angry with him? What does that get you besides bloody hands and a lonely life?”
Hardin doesn’t answer. He just keeps staring straight ahead.
“Exactly,” she says, and the rest of the ride is silent.
When we get back to the apartment, I head straight for the bedroom.
“You owe her an apology, Hardin,” I hear Trish say somewhere behind me.
I pull my ruined sweater off and let it fall onto the floor. I slip my shoes off and push my hair from my face, tucking the strands behind my ears. Seconds later Hardin opens the bedroom door; his eyes go to the red-stained fabric on the floor, then up to my face.
He stands in front of me and takes my hands in his, his eyes pleading. “I’m so sorry, Tess. I didn’t mean to push you like that.”
“You really shouldn’t have done that. Not today.”
“I know . . . are you hurt?” he asks, wiping his wounded hands against his black jeans.
“No.” If he had physically hurt me, we would have much bigger problems.
“I’m so sorry. I was in a rage. I thought you were Landon . . .”
“I don’t like when you get that way, so angry.” My eyes pool with tears as I recall Hardin’s hand being cut open.
“I know, baby.” He bends his knees slightly so he’s eye level with me. “I would never hurt you purposely. You know that, don’t you?” His thumb traces over my temple, and I nod slowly. I do know that he would never hurt me, physically at least. I have always known that.
“Why did you comment on his drinking in the first place? Things were going great,” I say.
“Because he was acting like nothing happened. He was being this fucking pretentious prick, and my mum was just going along with it. Someone had to stand up for her.” His voice is soft, confused, the polar opposite of how it was thirty minutes ago when he was screaming in his father’s face.
My heart aches again; this was his way of defending his mother. The wrong way, but to Hardin it’s his instinct. He pushes his hair from his forehead, blood staining his skin.
“Try to consider how he feels—he has to live with that guilt forever, Hardin, and you don’t make it any easier. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be angry, because that’s a natural reaction, but you of all people should be more forgiving.”
“And you have to stop with the violence. You can’t just go around beating people up every time you get pissed off. It’s not right, and I don’t like it at all.”
“I know.” He looks down at the concrete floor.
I sigh and take his hands in mine. “We need to get you cleaned up; your knuckles are still bleeding.” I lead him to the bathroom to clean his wounds for what feels like the thousandth time since I met him.