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

Carly smiles and gives Tessa a little nod. “I’m Hardin’s friend Carly. Sorry about your accident.” Then she looks at me. “Can I go now?”

“Bye, Carly,” I snap.

“Wait,” Tessa says. “He was with you last night at your place?”

I try to make eye contact with her, but she continues to stare at Carly, who says, “Yeah, I was just trying to take him back to his car.”

“His car? Where’s that?” she says, her voice shaking.

“Bye, Carly,” I say again and glare at her.

Tessa stands up, though her knees buckle a little. “No—tell me where his car is.”

I grab hold of her elbows in an attempt to stop her, but she pushes me away and then whimpers from the pain of the motion. “Don’t touch me,” she says through her teeth.

“Carly. Where is his car?” Tessa asks again.

Carly raises her hands and looks back and forth between Tessa and me. “At the bar where I work. Okay, I’m going now,” she says and wanders off.

“Tess . . .” I plead. God, why am I such a fuckup?

“Get away from me,” she replies. Her cheek goes in a little; I can tell she’s biting down on it to keep her tears at bay. Now that she’s standing here, staring off in the distance and trying to appear emotionless, I’m missing the days of her constant crying.

“Tessa, we have . . .” I begin, but my voice cracks. Now I’m the emotional one, and for once I don’t care. The panic from seeing the front end of her car smashed still courses through me, and I don’t want anything other than to hold her right now.

She still doesn’t look at me. “Go. Now. Or I’ll tell the officer to make you.”

“I don’t give a fuck about them—”

Her eyes whip back toward me with a vengeance. “No—I’m done listening to you! I’m not sure what happened last night, but all morning I knew—somehow knew—you were with someone else. I was just trying to force myself not to believe it.”

“We can work this out,” I beg. “We always have.”

“Hardin! Do you not see that I was just in an accident?” she yells and starts crying, prompting the EMT to walk back over. “Actually, you probably can’t tell, your version of reality is so warped. You write me a note last night about going out with your dad this morning, then you text me that you fell asleep drunk in your car after drinking with Landon. With Landon! You must think I’m stupid enough to believe anything—even things that contradict each other.” She glares at me. “Of course, you’re a walking bundle of contradictions, so, yeah, I can see how you might mistakenly think the rest of reality is, too.”

The realization of just how stupid I was fills me, and I can’t speak for a moment. I’m so stupid, so very, very stupid. And not just because I couldn’t keep my stories straight.

The EMT takes that moment to put a hand on Tessa’s shoulder and says, “Is everything okay over here? We need to get you to the hospital, just to check everything out.”