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

Hardin taps the wood softly. “Tess, open the door.”

“Just go to sleep, please,” I cry.

“Dammit, Tessa! Open this door now. I’m sorry, okay?” he shouts and begins to pound at the door.

Praying that he won’t bust through the door, I force myself up off the floor and pad over to the dresser to dig through my bottom drawer. When I see the white of the paper, relief washes over me, and I go into the closet and close myself in there. As I begin reading Hardin’s note to me, the pounding at the door is drowned out to the point of no longer existing. The ache in my chest dissolves along with my headache. Nothing exists except this letter, these perfect words from my imperfect Hardin.

I read it over and over until my tears stop along with the noise from the hall. I desperately hope that he didn’t leave, but I’m not going out there to find out. My heart and my eyes are too heavy. I need to lie down.

Taking the letter with me, I drag my body to the bed, still wearing my dress. Eventually sleep comes to me, and I am free to dream of the Hardin that scribbled these words on a sheet of paper in a hotel room.

WHEN I WAKE UP in the middle of the night, I fold the letter up and place it back in my bottom drawer before opening the bedroom door. Hardin is asleep in the hallway, curled up in a ball on the concrete floor. Figuring I shouldn’t wake him, I leave him alone to sleep off his intoxication, and go back to sleep.

 

chapter sixty-four

TESSA

Come the morning, the hallway is empty and the mess in the living room is completely cleared. Not one single piece of glass is left on the floor. The room smells of lemons, and the whiskey is no longer splattered across the wall.

I’m surprised Hardin even knew where the cleaner is stored.

“Hardin?” I call, my voice hoarse from all the yelling I did last night.

Getting no answer, I go over to the kitchen table, where an index card with his handwriting rests. Please don’t leave, I’ll be back soon, it says.

The thousand pounds of pressure lifts from my chest, and I grab the e-reader, make a cup of coffee, and wait for his return.

What feels like hours go by before Hardin finally comes back home. I have since showered, cleaned up the kitchen, and read fifty pages of Moby-Dick— and I don’t even care for the book. Most of the time that has passed has been filled with me thinking of every possibility of his behavior and what he will say. The fact that he didn’t want me to leave, so that is a good thing. Right? I sure hope so. The entire night is a blur, but I remember the key points.

When I hear the click of the front door, I instantly still. Everything I’ve been preparing to say to him vanishes from my mind. I set the e-reader down on the table and sit up on the couch.