After We Collided (After, #2) by Anna Todd Read Online (FREE)
“Hardin . . .” Tessa’s voice sends chills down my spine.
“Babe . . .” she says.
When I look up at her, she’s sitting on my mum’s couch with a smile on her face and a book in her lap.
“Come here, please,” she whines as the door opens and a group of men step inside. No.
“There she is,” says the short man who torments my dreams each night.
“Hardin?” Tessa begins to cry.
“Get away from her,” I warn them as they close in on her. They don’t seem to hear me.
Her nightgown is ripped off as she’s thrown to the floor. Wrinkled and dirt-stained hands travel up her thighs as she whimpers my name.
“Please . . . Hardin, help me.” She looks to me, but I’m frozen.
I am immobile and unable to help her. I am forced to watch as they beat her and violate her until she’s lying on the floor silent and bloodied.
My mum didn’t wake me, no one did. I had to finish it, all of it, and when I woke up my reality was worse than any nightmare.
DAY NINE is today.
“Did you hear about Christian Vance moving to Seattle?” my mum asks me as I push the cereal around the bowl in front of me.
“That’s exciting, isn’t it? A new branch in Seattle.”
“I suppose it is.”
“He’s having a dinner party on Sunday. He thought you’d be there.”
“How do you know?” I ask her.
“He told me, we talk from time to time.” She looks away and refills her coffee mug.
“Because we can—now eat your cereal.” She scolds me like a child, but I don’t have the energy to come up with a snappy remark.
“I don’t want to go,” I tell her and force the spoon to my mouth.
“You may not see him again for a while.”
“So? I barely see him now anyway.”
She looks as if she has something else to say, but she keeps quiet.
“Have you got any aspirin?” I ask, and she nods before disappearing to retrieve some.
I don’t want to go to a stupid fucking dinner party celebrating Christian and Kimberly leaving for Seattle. I’m tired of everyone always talking about Seattle, and I know Tessa will be there. The pain at the idea of seeing her tackles me and nearly knocks me out of the chair. I have to stay away from her, I owe it to her. If I can stay here for a few more days, weeks even, we can both move on. She’ll find someone like Natalie’s fiancé, someone much better for her than me.
“I still think you should go,” my mum says again as I swallow the aspirin, knowing they won’t help.
“I can’t go, Mum . . . even if I wanted to. I would have to leave first thing in the morning and I’m not ready to leave.”
“You mean you aren’t ready to face what you left,” she says.
I can’t hold it in any longer. I bury my face in my hands as I let the pain take over, I let it drown me. I welcome it, and hope it kills me.