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

Goddammit, Hardin, why did you do that? I kept asking myself. I didn’t have a good enough answer.

Day four began the worst way possible.

“Hardin, go upstairs!” she’s begging. No, not this again. One of the men slaps her across her face and she looks at the staircase; her eyes meet mine and I scream. Tessa.

“Hardin! Wake up, Hardin! Please wake up!” my mum screamed and shook me awake.

“Where is she? Where’s Tess?” I choked, sweat soaking my skin.

“She isn’t here, Hardin.”

“But they . . .” It took me a moment to collect my thoughts and realize it was only a nightmare. The same nightmare I’ve had my entire life, only this time it was so much worse. My mother’s face was replaced with Tessa’s.

“Shhh . . . it’s okay. It was only a dream.” My mum cried and tried to hug me, but I gently pushed her arms back.

“No, I’m fine,” I assured her and told her to leave me alone.

I lay awake for the rest of the night trying to get the image out of my head, but I couldn’t.

Day four continued just as it started. My mum ignored me all day, which I thought I would want but it turned out I was sort of . . . lonely. I began to miss Tessa. I kept finding myself looking next to me to talk to her, to wait for her to say something that was sure to make me smile. I wanted to call her, my finger traced over that green button over one hundred times, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I can’t give her what she wants, and that isn’t going to be good enough for her. It’s better this way. I spent the afternoon looking up how much it would cost me to move my shit back here to England. This is where I’m going to end up anyway, so I might as well get it over with.

We would never work, Tessa and me. I always knew we wouldn’t last. We couldn’t. It wasn’t possible for us to be together always. She’s too damn good for me and I know it. Everyone knows it. I see the way people turn to stare at us everywhere we go, and I know they’re wondering why that beautiful girl is with me.

I had been staring at my phone while downing a half bottle of whiskey for hours before I turned off the light and fell asleep. I thought I heard the buzzing of my phone on the nightstand, but I was too drunk to sit up and answer. The nightmare came again; this time Tessa’s nightgown was soaked in blood and she cried for me to go away, to leave her there on that couch.

Day five I woke up to a flashing red light on my phone indicating that yet again I’d missed her call, only this time it wasn’t intentional. Day five was when I stared at her name on the screen before looking at picture after picture of her. When did I take so many? I hadn’t realized how many pictures I had snapped without her paying any mind.