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

“I hope he does, too,” I finally say.

“I’m sorry that he hasn’t contacted you,” Ken says quietly.

“It’s okay . . . I stopped expecting it a few days ago.”

“Anyway,” he says with a sigh, “I better get upstairs to my office. I have some phone calls to make.”

I’m glad he’s excusing himself before we get any deeper into the conversation. I don’t want to talk about Hardin anymore.

WHEN I PULL UP in front of Zed’s apartment building, he’s waiting outside with a cigarette behind his ear.

“You smoke?” I ask and crinkle my nose.

He seems puzzled as he climbs into my small car. “Oh, yeah. Well, sometimes. And you saw me smoke that night at the frat house, remember?” He pulls the cigarette from behind his ear and smiles. “I found this one in my room.”

I laugh a little. “Yeah, after the beer pong and Hardin yelling at us that night, I guess the smoking thing slipped my mind.” I give him a smile but then realize something. “But wait, so not only do you plan to smoke, you plan to smoke an old cigarette?”

“I guess so. You don’t like cigarettes?”

“No, not at all. But hey, if you want to smoke, you can. Well, not in my car, obviously,” I say.

His fingers move to the door, and he presses one of the small buttons. When the window is half down, he tosses the cigarette out the window.

“Then I won’t smoke.” He smiles and rolls it back up.

As much as I despise the habit, I have to admit there was something about the way he looked with his hair styled nearly straight up, his dark sunglasses, and his leather jacket that made that cigarette look stylish.

 

chapter eighty-two

HARDIN

Here you go,” my mum says when she walks into my old bedroom.

She hands me a small porcelain cup on a saucer, and I sit up from the bed. “What is it?” I ask, my voice hoarse.

“Warm milk and honey,” she says as I take a sip. “Remember when you were little and I used to make it when you were sick?”

“Yeah.”

“She’ll forgive you, Hardin,” she tells me, and I close my eyes.

I finally moved on from sobbing to dry-heaving to numbness. That’s all it is, is numb. “I don’t think so . . .”

“She will, I saw the way she looked at you. She’s forgiven you for much worse, remember?” She brushes the matted hair away from my forehead, and I don’t flinch away for once.

“I know, but this time isn’t like that, Mum. I ruined everything that I spent months building with her.”

“She loves you.”

“I can’t do it anymore, I can’t. I can’t be who she wants me to be. I always fuck everything up. That’s who I am and always will be, the guy who fucks everything up.”

“That’s not true, and I happen to know that you’re exactly what she wants.”

The cup shakes in my hand and I nearly drop it. “I know you’re only trying to help, but, please . . . just stop, Mum.”