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

Tessa once told me I ruined her. Now, as I sit here trying to focus, trying to just catch my breath, I know that she was wrong. She ruined me. She got inside me and fucked me up. I had spent years building those walls—my entire life, really—and here she came in and tore them down, leaving me with nothing but rubble.

“Did you hear me, Hardin? I made a small list in case you didn’t,” my mum said, handing me the frilly piece of stationery.

“Yes.” My voice was barely audible.

“Are you sure you’re okay to go?” she asked.

“Yeah, I’m good.” I stood up and tucked the list into my dirty jeans.

“I heard you last night, Hardin, if you want to—”

“Don’t, Mum. Please don’t.” I nearly choked on my words. My mouth was so dry and my throat was aching.

“Okay.” Her eyes were full of sadness as I walked out of the house to head to the store just down the road.

The list only consisted of a few items, yet I couldn’t remember any of them without digging the damn paper out of my pocket. I managed to corral the few things: bread, jam, coffee beans, and some fruit. Looking at all the food in the store made my empty stomach turn. I took an apple for myself and began to force myself to eat it. It tasted like cardboard, and I could feel the small pieces hitting the pit of my stomach as I paid the elderly woman at the cash register.

I walked outside and it began to snow. The snow made me think of her, too. Everything made me think of her. My head was aching with a headache that refused to go away. I rubbed my fingers over my temples with my free hand and crossed the street.

“Hardin? Hardin Scott?” a voice called from the other side of the street. No. It couldn’t be.

“Is that you?” she asked again.

Natalie.

This couldn’t be happening, I kept thinking as she walked toward me with her hands full of shopping bags.

“Erm . . . hey,” was all I could say, my mind frantic, my palms already beginning to sweat.

“I thought you moved?” she asked.

Her eyes were bright, not lifeless like I remembered as she cried and begged for me to let her stay at my house when she had nowhere to go.

“I did . . . I’m only visiting,” I told her, and she set her bags on the sidewalk.

“Well, that’s good.” She smiled.

How could she be smiling at me after what I had done to her?

“Uh . . . yeah. How are you?” I forced myself to ask the girl whose life I ruined.

“I’m good, really good,” she chirped and ran her hands over her swollen belly.

Swollen belly? Oh God. No, wait . . . the time line didn’t add up. Holy shit, that scared me for a second.

“You’re pregnant?” I asked, hoping that she was so I hadn’t just insulted her.